BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam released a statement Wednesday, condemning the loss of Lebanese lives during clashes in Arsal, lauding local and regional efforts to stand by Lebanon during the critical phase.
Salam made reassurances that “Lebanon is not alone... in its struggle against terrorist attacks that have taken valuable Lebanese blood and kept a dear area hostage in the hands of militants.”
The prime minister said that fighting terrorism, which he added is not tolerated by Islam, was a means to support religious coexistence and commit to moderation.
Salam lauded former Prime Minister Saad Hariri for his “brave national stand” since the crisis started, hailing his attempts to achieve national consensus during the critical phase.
Salam, on behalf of the Lebanese government and the Lebanese people, thanked Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for his generous donation of $1 billion to the Lebanese Army earlier today.
“We consider that this generous donation... is further evidence of the king’s full support for the Lebanese state and his desire to strengthen its institutions” said the statement.
A clash emerged Saturday in Arsal, an eastern town bordering Syria, after militants from groups fighting in Syria attacked Army bases attempting to take over the mostly Sunni-village.
Confrontations have continued despite truce attempts, killing 17 Army soldiers and at least 12 civilians.
A preliminary cease-fire was breached by an assault on the Army Wednesday, prompting the latter to resume its military campaign against the extremist jihadists.