'ISIL terror of Lebanese army troops calculated'

'ISIL terror of Lebanese army troops calculated'
Mon Aug 4, 2014 14:15:39

Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi has insisted that recent clashes in northeast Lebanon were premeditated, rejecting claims that the terrorist attack on the nation’s security forces was prompted by the arrest of a Syria-based ISIL terrorist leader.

Speaking at a rare news conference on Sunday following two days of clashes between Lebanese troops and Takfiri terrorists in and around the Bekaa Valley village of Arsal near the border with Syria, Kahwagi vowed that the Army would continue its military operations to crush the terrorists, who intruded into Lebanon after being chased out of Syria by government forces.

“It is not true that the clashes began because of the Army’s detention of Imad Jomaa,” Kahwagi said, referring to the suspect who had confessed to planning a large terrorist operation against Army bases.

Kahwagi also pointed out that Jomaa was surveying the area in order to put the “final touches” on the planned terrorist attack.

“This terrorist attack which occurred yesterday was neither an attack by chance nor coincidental. It was planned a long time ago, [with the militants] waiting for the appropriate time, which came during the last 48 hours,” he told reporters at the Defense Ministry.

Kahwagi further emphasized that the attack was meticulously planned, as “evidenced by the swiftness of the terrorists in surrounding bases and taking captives.”

He confirmed that 10 Lebanese Army soldiers had been killed and 25 wounded, with another 13 soldiers missing and likely taken captive by the foreign-sponsored insurgents.

An additional soldier was killed following the news conference, bringing the total death toll to 11, while the number of those wounded and missing climbed to 30 and15, respectively.
Kahwagi also reiterated the Army’s readiness to confront “the huge Takfiri threat,” underscoring the need to act quickly or the “Takfiri movements would benefit from what is happening in Arsal and would replicate the incident in another [Lebanese] region.”

“We call on all political and spiritual leaders to be wary of what is being planned for Lebanon and what is coming to us, because any occurrence in any region ... will be regarded as a grave danger because of the risk of transmission,” he said.

Kahwagi went on to describe the intruding terrorists as predominantly foreigners that work in “collaboration with people planted inside refugee camps.”

He called for settling the issue inside refugee camps, as well as the regions hosting them, in order to prevent such locations from becoming a pool for terrorism.

Kahwagi affirmed that the Army would work to prevent any further spillover from the foreign-backed insurgency wars in Syria and Iraq, expressing fears that ISIL terrorism under the pretext of an "Islamic State" may expand into Lebanon from the Syria-Iraq border regions.