Lebanon forces fully ready to counter all threats: Army

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Wednesday, 09 March 2016

The Lebanese army says it is fully prepared to repel all types of threats amid Saudi Arabia’s growing pressure and reports of an Israeli plan for a new war on the Arab country.

“The army is today stronger than at any time before. Security on the border [with Syria] and inside the country is under control,” army chief Jean Kahwagi said on Monday.

The Lebanese army has been fighting militants near the border with Syria, amid fears of a spillover of the conflict being waged by Takfiri groups to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended billions of dollars in financial pledge to Beirut, prompting warnings that the decision might undermine Lebanon's battle against terrorists and threats by Israel.

Kahwagi dismissed those fears. He said the army would strike with an “iron fist” at any attempt aimed at reviving plans to spread chaos, divisions and partition, or destroy Lebanon's national unity, The Daily Star reported.

“The Army will remain at the highest level of readiness on all fronts of responsibility and duty: From fighting terrorism on the border, to defending against Israel and its schemes, to spreading security and stability in the interior,” he said.

In August 2014, al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Daesh terrorists overran the eastern town of Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.

A Daesh bombing also killed at least 47 people in the southern part of the capital Beirut in November last year.

“Our decision is firm in preventing the regional ball of fire from rolling into Lebanon,” Kahwagi said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam has called for national unity and on political groups to “take into consideration the Arab consensus during the difficult and delicate crisis the country is passing through.”

His call late last month came in the face of Saudi pressures which have further divided the country.

Israel seizing on vacuum?

Last week, Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said Israel was seeking to launch a new war on Lebanon in the wake of the Saudi decision.

It said American officials, whose names were not mentioned in the report, had warned Beirut of the prospect of an Israeli war.

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during the 33-day war in the summer of 2006.

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