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Lebanese Military Chief Tells Army to Remain on Alert

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In address marking independence anniversary, Gen. Joseph Aoun notes Lebanon's current ‘exceptional’ political circumstances.

Lebanese military commander Gen. Joseph Aoun on Tuesday told the army to remain on high alert on the country’s southern border with a view to confronting potential “Israeli threats and violations”. 

Aoun made the remarks in a statement issued by his office to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence from France in 1943. 

In the statement, Aoun stressed the need to "follow up on pre-emptive operations waged against the [Daesh] terrorists with a view to arresting those involved in shedding the blood of army personnel and Lebanese citizens". 

The Lebanese army, he said, was marking this year’s independence anniversary “in a positive atmosphere following the successful outcome of Operation Jaroud Arsal”. 

In August, the Lebanese army launched a major offensive -- dubbed Operation Jaroud Arsal -- aimed at dislodging Daesh militants from mountainous parts of the country near the Syrian border.  

In September, Lebanese army troops backed by Hezbollah fighters finally captured the border town of Jaroud Arsal from the notorious terrorist group. 

In his Tuesday statement, Aoun also asserted that Lebanon’s current "exceptional” political situation “demands that we exercise our utmost awareness and take measures to ensure security and stability”.

“Stability,” he stressed, “provides a solid basis on which needed political solutions can be implemented.”

Aoun also emphasized the need to “firmly and forcefully confront all attempts to exploit the current [political] circumstances to sow sedition and chaos in Lebanon”.

Lebanon has remained in the throes of an unprecedented political crisis since Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation earlier this month.

In a resignation address delivered -- contentiously -- from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, Hariri had criticized Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, accusing them of sowing “sedition” in the region and “meddling” in Arab affairs.

Saudi Arabia, Hariri’s long-time political patron, is Iran’s arch-foe in the region. Riyadh supports Syria’s armed opposition, while Iran and Hezbollah both support Syria’s Assad regime.

 

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