Lebanese army vows to swiftly respond to any Israeli attack

Lebanese army vows to swiftly respond to any Israeli attack
Tue Dec 24, 2013 07:51:56

Lebanon’s Army Commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi has promised that the military would swiftly respond to any Israeli attack and terrorist attempts to undermine security in the southern city of Sidon.

“The Army is fully prepared to respond to any Israeli aggression and will not concede to any threat or remain silent in the event that it is targeted. Every aggressive act will be met with a similar one and the response will be immediate,” Kahwagi said on Monday.

He also praised the efforts of soldiers and officers in preserving security along the border areas and defending them against Israeli aggression.

“The Lebanese Army is eager to preserve stability in the south and committed to maintaining its security in cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon,” Kahwagi added.

“But it [the Army] is also aware of the Israeli enemy’s intentions toward Lebanon, particularly its attempts to take advantage of internal disputes to foment strife among the Lebanese,” Kahwagi added.

His remarks came during a tour of Army units in the southern district of Marjayoun and Sidon. Kahwagi also visited UNIFIL headquarters in the southern border village of Naqoura.

Earlier this month, Lebanon’s south was the scene of deadly clashes between Israeli and Lebanese forces. The ensuing tensions prompted the Security Council to call for calm and restraint by both sides.

Osn December 16, Israeli military said its forces opened fire on two Lebanese soldiers and hit at least one of them across the Lebanese border in the Ras al-Naqoura area.

The shooting incident took place hours after an Israeli soldier trying to enter Lebanon was shot dead by a sniper.

Kahwagi also said the Army’s strength stemmed from Lebanon’s right to national sovereignty, whether in land, air or sea, and from its obligation to defend its sovereignty, with support from the people and the international community.

At UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura, Kahwagi met Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra, the head of the peacekeeping force, along with senior UNIFIL officers.

During his meeting with Serra, Kahwagi stressed the importance of daily coordination and joint work between the Army and the international troops in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

He said Israel was repeatedly violating the resolution among other international laws, while Lebanon was respecting its international commitments.

Kahwagi told Serra that the Army was eager to protect peacekeepers in south Lebanon just as much as its Lebanese soldiers.

“General Kahwagi’s visit to UNIFIL today is a strong reaffirmation of the trust and friendship that define our cooperation at every level and in all our work together in pursuance of our mandate under Resolution 1701. Our strategic partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces remains one of the main pillars for the success of our mission,” Serra said after the visit.

BA/BA

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