Lebanese Army soldiers patrol the Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood after being deployed to tighten security, following clashes between Lebanese soldiers and Islamist gunmen, October 27, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
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Four days of fierce fighting between the Lebanese Army and Tripoli's militants were part of a scheme by ISIS and the Nusra Front to establish a foothold in northern Lebanon, and eventually set up an Islamic emirate in the multi-sectarian country, analysts said Monday. They added that the Army's determination to crush militants in northern Lebanon, regardless of the sacrifices that entailed in the ongoing battle against homegrown terrorism, has foiled attempts by ISIS and Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front to establish an Islamic state in the country. Fadia Kiwan, head of the political science department at Universite St. Joseph, said she shared fears voiced by Lebanese officials, including Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi, that ISIS and the Nusra Front were planning to set up an Islamic emirate in the north.Speaking at a news conference following clashes between Lebanese troops and ISIS and Nusra Front gunmen in the northeastern town of Arsal on Aug. 2, Kahwagi said confessions by Imad Ahmad Jomaa, the alleged ISIS commander in Syria's Qalamoun region whose arrest by the Army triggered the fighting, showed that the militants planned to establish an Islamic state between the Bekaa Valley and north Lebanon.
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