President Michel Aoun hailed the Lebanese army’s pre-emptive security operation on Friday against the Islamic State in Arsal , during which it detained several militants including an IS commander, National News Agency reported.
The President hailed the “pre-emptive security operation” carried out by the army early on Friday in Arsal near the Lebanese-Syrian border, NNA reported .
“Such kind of operations boost stability, put an end for terror schemes and reveal the parties responsible for it,” said Aoun.
Aoun’s comments come after the army carried out raids on IS terror cells near the Syrian refugee encampments in Wadi al-Araneb in Arsal and arrested 11 militants including an IS commander suspected of involvement in the June al-Qaa bombings.
The army said the detained IS commander, Ahmed Youssef Ammoun, had been involved in preparing car bombs used in attacks in various parts of Lebanon, including the southern suburbs of Beirut.
The army also accused him of involvement in attacks on army posts during fighting in the region in August 2014 when IS and al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate briefly overran the town of Arsal.
Similarly Hezbollah hailed the Army’s move and “highlighted its essential role in defending the border and ridding it of terrorists.”
“This heroic operation is a true reflection of the Lebanese armed forces’ commitment to dealing pre-emptive blows to the terrorists, where needed, to prevent them from plotting criminal operations against the Lebanese,” the party said in a statement.
It also noted that the Lebanese “cannot forget the soldiers who are enduring captivity at the hands of these terrorist groups,” hoping the operation “will contribute to bringing them back safe to their families.”
This is reference to the nine hostages held by IS. 16 hostages held by al-Qaida’s affiliate, known then as al-Nusra Front, were released in December 2015 after lengthy negotiations.
Lebanon has been rocked by periodic bomb attacks, often targeting strongholds of Hezbollah, after the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group sent fighters to Syria to bolster President Bashar Assad’s government against the mostly Sunni rebel forces.