Lebanon: Army enjoys “unconditional” political support, PM Hariri

Prime Minister Saad Hariri assured the Lebanese military of the government’s support after four Syrian nationals died while in their custody.

The military have been under strong criticism but the Lebanese Prime Minister argued, “those criticizing the army are trying to create tensions between the military forces and Syrian refugees.”

Military personnel raided the northeastern border region of Arsal at the end of last month. Five suicide bombers detonated their explosives during the operation.

Hariri, after a meeting with Defense Minister Yacoub al-Sarraf and Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, said the “very successful” raid has contributed to Lebanon’s security because “those explosives were going to be targeting Lebanon.” According to him, the country would have faced “a major problem” if the raid was not conducted. Some of those arrested during the raid have been charged for terrorism activities.

 

Security sources hinted that the assurances from the Prime Minister have comforted the Army Command, which is “very much at ease” with the outcome of the meeting showcasing that “the army is above suspicion.”

The sources added that the military are determined to continue their mission in combatting terrorism.

While deploring the death of the detainees, Hariri claimed that there were no casualties during the raid of an encampment of around 10,000 people. He added that “clear and transparent” investigation will follow and the report will be ready within 48 to 72 hours. “We reject any questioning of the credibility of the investigation”, he warned.

He urged to put an end to critical campaigns and to focus instead on “the army’s achievement in preventing the spread of terrorism.”

The Government’s political support for the military is “unconditional,” he insisted.

 

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