Lebanon News

Lebanon army chief: No safe passage for militants

File - Lebanese soldiers in northeastern Lebanon.(REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah)

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi dismissed reports that there is a haven for ISIS and Nusra Front militants entrenched along the Syria-Lebanon border.

“There is no safe passage nor a humanitarian [corridor] for the militants,” Kahwagi said in remarks published Wednesday. “This point did not exist in the [swap] deal.”

Sixteen Lebanese servicemen, held by Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front militants on the northeast border since Aug. 2014, were freed Dec. 1 in exchange for 23 Islamist prisoners, including the ex-wife of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Local media reported that the swap deal also called for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor with makeshift refugee camp sites around Arsal.

“Militants were never in the [northeastern border] town of Arsal, but on its outskirts at a distance between 5-8 kilometers,” Kahwagi told local daily Al-Akhbar.

He added that Arsal’s original population of 30,000 has multiplied to around 130,000, due to the influx of Syrian refugees. Even so, "the town is under the Army’s control.”

“We carry out raids and regularly arrest suspects with links to terrorist organizations.”





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here