Lebanese army determined to fight IS Islamic State terrorist fighters until their elimination 160115

Defence & Security News - Lebanon
 
 
Lebanese army determined to fight IS Islamic State terrorist fighters until their elimination.
Lebanese army Commander General Jean Qahwaji stressed Wednesday, January 14, 2015, that the army is "determined to fight terrorism until it is eliminated." In August, Lebanese military forces battled extremist groups from al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) in and around the Bekaa border town of Arsal, and engaged in a five-day combat that resulted in the killing of 16 civilians and 20 soldiers.
     
Lebanese army Commander General Jean Qahwaji stressed Wednesday, January 14, 2015, that the army is "determined to fight terrorism until it is eliminated." In August, Lebanese military forces battled extremist groups from al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) in and around the Bekaa border town of Arsal, and engaged in a five-day combat that resulted in the killing of 16 civilians and 20 soldiers.
Lebanese army soldiers in Tripoli
     
"We renew today what we had already confirmed before, our determination to continue combating terrorism with power and firmness until we eliminate it from its roots," added Jean Qahwaji .

Before the gunmen withdrew back to Syria, they kidnapped at least 30 soldiers and police officers. So far, seven were released while three soldiers were executed by al-Nusra and one beheaded by the IS.

The Lebanese army also fought with Islamist militants in the northern port city of Tripoli's old souks and the nearby northern regions of Bhannine and al-Mhammara.

The Lebanese government troops managed to restore law and order to the largest city in the north that has seen over the past few years more than 20 rounds of clashes between the Sunni neighborhood of Bab el-Tebbaneh and the mostly-Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.

Qahwaji noted the army has foiled the scheme of the terrorists, who planned to establish an obscurantist emirate.

He stressed the kidnapped servicemen remain the country's priority, saying that "we will not spare an effort or a way in order to liberate them and bring them back."

The general also said that foreign aid, especially the Saudi donation, will have a huge impact on enhancing the ability of the army to win the battle against terrorism.

The oil-rich Gulf kingdom donated three billion U.S. dollars to the Lebanese army to buy advanced weaponry from France. The agreements have been finalized and the first shipment is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2015.

The Saudis also provided the Lebanese security forces with another donation of one billion dollars, and charged former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in overseeing its execution.

     

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