Hezbollah providing logistical support to Lebanese army in Arsal

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Monday, 11 August 2014

Lebanon’s Hezbollah insists that the resistance movement is providing only logistical support to the army in its battle against al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in the northern town of Arsal.

“Hezbollah affirms that addressing militarily developments on the ground, protecting civilians and confronting terrorist groups were the exclusive responsibility of the Lebanese Army,” it said in a Tuesday statement.
“The stance confirms the national consensus on supporting the Lebanese Army in the face of takfiri terror and confronts attempts to sabotage civil peace and violate Lebanon’s sovereignty,” the party said.
The statement came in reaction to a number of Future lawmakers and some media outlets alleging that Hezbollah was assisting the army in its fight against militants in Arsal.
In the meantime a high-ranking Hezbollah official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the party is worried that the Army’s capabilities do not match its resolve to regain control of the Bekaa Valley town, where four days of clashes have killed 16 soldiers and nine civilians.
"For now, Hezbollah has taken a decision to step back from the confrontation with ISIL in Arsal and leave the mission to the Lebanese Army, which has no choice but to stamp out the threat at any cost, even if it means sacrificing the lives of soldiers and officers," he said.
However, the party has deemed the 11 kilometers separating Arsal from Labweh, a bastion of support for Hezbollah, a red line which could trigger the party’s direct intervention.
Hezbollah leadership considers control of this stretch crucial to limiting the spread of ISIL Takfiri militants, tightening control over all Lebanese areas and driving Syrian militants back into Syria.
The official condemned France for failing to meet the requests of the Lebanese Army for arms and ammunition promised by Saudi Arabia when it made its $3 billion gift last year.
“The Lebanese Army cannot face the threat of terrorism with bare chests and outdated weapons,” he said.
“Those soldiers and officers need modern tools, especially helicopters equipped with guided missiles, to destroy the militants’ hold on Arsal,” he added.
The government of Prime Minister Tammam Salam unanimously threw its weight behind the military Monday.
Salam underlined that the cabinet stands unanimously behind the army in its combat against the terrorists.
The ongoing clashes mark the worst spillover of violence into Lebanon since the start of the Syria crisis in 2011.

Rating: 5 Read 411 times Last modified on Monday, 11 August 2014

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