Smoke rises near a mosque as clashes continue between Lebanese army soldiers and Islamist militants in the the Sunni Muslim border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah
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Lebanon's political leaders Monday expressed their undying support for the Lebanese Army, currently battling militants from Syria, warning that the country's fate hinges on the consequences of this fight.Head of the Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt said the nation states in the Arab region, created as a the result of Western agreements, were nearing their end, and called on rivals to come together in support of the Army to safeguard Lebanon. While condemning the international silence toward ISIS, Jumblatt said the Arsal battle between the Lebanese Army and militants was a matter of destiny.Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called for concrete support for the Army in its Arsal fight, condemning some politicians' selfish stands on the matter.Berri revealed that Salam had called him to discuss the situation and support for the Lebanese Army.However, Berri said he rejected such proposals, stressing that no cease-fire could be accepted before the militants release the kidnapped Army soldiers and totally withdraw from Lebanese territory. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea also spoke about the ongoing clashes in the northeastern town, announcing his party's " full backing of the Lebanese Army in its fight against the foreign, terrorist militants". Offering his condolences to the families of soldiers who were killed in the fighting, Geagea asked the government to request that the U.N. Security Council expand the mandate of the U.N. Interim force in Lebanon.
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