Lebanon News

Higher Defense Council to discuss security situation

Brief Statement Before The Press For General Adnan Merheb. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra/HO)

BEIRUT: The Higher Defense Council will convene Wednesday to discuss recent security developments in the country, a ministerial source told The Daily Star Tuesday.

The meeting will gather Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn with the heads of security agencies to discuss the security situation and take necessary measures and decisions, the source said.

Decisions made by the council will be confidential.

Meanwhile, MP Michel Aoun sounded the alarm Tuesday over increasing security breaches in the country, saying such incidents coupled with political rhetoric could spark conflict.

“We are living in a very dangerous security situation that includes provocation, incitements, kidnappings, attacks against security forces,” Aoun said following the weekly meeting of his Change and Reform bloc.

He added that the reaction of the government as well as political leaders was not appropriate.

“The path of provocation will lead to a civil war and I will not be ashamed in saying such things,” Aoun said, holding politicians responsible.

Lebanon has witnessed a spree of kidnappings for ransom in several parts of the country, the last victim of which was a 12-year-old boy, a son of a wealthy businessman, who was kidnapped outside his house in a Beirut neighborhood.

In addition, the proliferation of arms has also raised concern, particularly after the Feb. 1 attack on a Lebanese Army unit in the eastern region of Arsal which left two soldiers dead amid reports of smuggling of arms and gunmen across the border with Syria.

The last meeting of the Higher Defense Council was in December of last year when it gave the Army the go-ahead to preserve civil peace. The council’s decision came in light of clashes in Sidon and Tripoli that heightened sectarian tensions in the country.





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