The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
36 soldiers missing ... fears of new “Azaz”
Arsal returned to the bosom of the state, but 36 members of the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces have not yet returned. They became hostage of the armed groups that moved them out of Arsal to Syrian territory.
From the beginning of the Arsal operation, the militants’ goal was to swap the captive soldiers with prisoners in Roumieh.
Saudi grant opens door to recruitment
Syrian refugees start the trip back home
A minister who took part in Thursday’s Cabinet meeting said that the most important decision taken by the government, or better say the most important decision in the history of governments, was the approval to recruit 12,000 soldiers, policemen and other security personnel.
The minister said the $1 billion Saudi grant paved the way for the recruitment decision in light of the military’s significant need for logistics.
Meanwhile, Nusra Front said on its Twitter account: “We left Arsal ... after we had handed over six captives as a goodwill gesture; and the rest of the captives are a special case.”
A well-informed source said the militants were holding 19 Lebanese soldiers and 17 policemen after the release of six security men Tuesday and Wednesday.
Army takes over Arsal, no solution before soldiers released
The Army’s takeover of Arsal after militants withdrew from the town was an accomplishment, a military source told Ad-Diyar, adding that another issue that was not yet accomplished was the release of the soldiers who were taken captive by the militants.
The source stressed that the soldiers’ release was the key to resolving the Arsal conflict.
“The military command said it would not remain quiet on this issue,” the source said.
Terrorists put new conditions on soldiers’ release
Sources from the Committee of Muslim Scholars said that both Nusra Front and ISIS believe the Lebanese Army violated the Arsal agreement after 14 retreating Nusra militants were killed.
The sources said the armed groups set out new conditions for the handover of 12 captive Lebanese soldiers.