BEIRUT: Detained jihadist Emad Joumaa, whose arrest sparked five days of intense clashes between militants and the Lebanese Army in the northeastern town of Arsal earlier this month, confessed to plans of establishing an Islamic State between the Bekaa Valley and North Lebanon. He also divulged that all Hezbollah loyalists would have been either detained or killed.
“Al-Nusra head in Qalamoun Aba Malek al- Souri and his twenty nine groups had agreed on launching a united assault on Arsal” Joumaa told Lebanese judicial authorities. The confessions were aired by LBC TV during its 8 o'clock news bulletin Monday.
The assault against Lebanese villages and Army soldiers was meant to create a state of chaos that would start in the Bekaa Valley, and would later spread to North Lebanon, Joumaa reportedly said.
Joumaa added that an "Islamic State," under the authority of Abdallah Azzam brigade Spokesperson Sirajeddine Zureiqat, would have been declared in the captured areas between the Bekaa Valley and north Lebanon, .
Joumaa confessed to being responsible for coordinating the operation and dividing the twenty nine groups that fell under his command into seven factions that would eventually control Army headquarters and villages extending from the Bekaa to northern Lebanon.
“Sleeper cells in those regions would work on sparking instability” he said, adding that he was arrested three days prior to the launching date of the operation.
Militant groups and factions had agreed on a pact with regards to the treatment of Christians, Shiites and Army soldiers, said Joumaa.
The Shiite sect was the primary target, he said, highlighting that militant groups were set to detain all men and women affiliated to Hezbollah.
Joumaa admitted that in addition to detaining Hezbollah supporters, militant groups would also kill any individual who is over the age of fifteen and declares his allegiance to the resistance movement.
Christians would have been spared according to Joumaa, who also disclosed that the original plan called for the capture of the largest possible number of Army soldiers.
The Army’s arrest of Joumaa, who had switched allegiance from the Nusra Front to ISIS, triggered five days of clashes between Lebanese soldiers and Islamists from Syria. Twenty-nine soldiers and members of the Internal Security Forces went missing after the fighting and are believed to be held by the Nusra Front and ISIS.