Lebanon News

Army and security agencies united in anti-terror battle

File - Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk attends a ceremony in Roumieh, Monday, June 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: The Army and security agencies are collaborating in their battle against terrorism threatening Lebanon, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said in remarks released Friday, claiming that his ministry’s coordination with Hezbollah was only limited to the case of a village on the border with Syria.

“There is a partnership between the Army and security agencies in confronting terrorism threatening Lebanon,” Machnouk said in an interview to be published by the “General Security” magazine Saturday. The monthly magazine is published by General Security.

Machnouk said security services were coordinating with all necessary groups in Lebanon to maintain stability and peace as the country faced growing threats from the violent spillover from Syria and Iraq.

But he stressed that his ministry coordinated with Hezbollah only on the case of Tfail, a Lebanese border village that has become isolated from the rest of Lebanon due to the ongoing turmoil in Syria.

“There shouldn’t be any embarrassment over coordination between security and military agencies and any Lebanese party to secure the application of the law and put an end to the protection that some criminal and wanted people enjoy,” Machnouk said.

“Security agencies are tasked with building ties and coordinating with all influential parties, and benefit from that to prevent the Syrian fire from spreading to Lebanon or any other terror development that could threaten us,” he added.

Machnouk said that he, along with security agencies, coordinated with Hezbollah to send aid to Tfail, a village in east Lebanon that can only be reached via Syrian territory.

“The relationship with Hezbollah was only to address the problems in Tfail,” he said. “Coordination with Hezbollah did not surpass the framework of the humanitarian mission and had nothing to do with terrorism or security or anything else. Coordination in that regard remains among security agencies.”

He also spoke about the security plans drafted for several parts of the country, saying the plan in the north had achieved most of its goals while the crackdown in the Bekaa Valley had been relatively successful.

He added that a long-awaited security plan for Beirut has been put off for now, while there is no plan for the south.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 05, 2014, on page 2.




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