Naharnet

Salam Urges Unity in Fight against Jihadists

Prime Minister Tammam Salam voiced fears on Saturday of the deteriorating security situation in Lebanon and the region, in light of the escalation in terrorist group activities.

"The information available to military sources is definitely not appeasing. I can say that it is more likely to be worrying,” Salam told al-Joumhouria daily.

He urged the Lebanese to be united to confront any danger therein. He said: “military battles do not mark the front defense line. Our unity and solidarity together with backing the military institutions are.”

The border town of Arsal has witnessed fierce clashes between Jihadists and the Lebanese army since August. Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front kidnapped several soldiers and policemen.

Furthermore the Premier lamented the political paralysis that Lebanon is witnessing currently in light of the parliament's failure to elect a new president.

"It's a pity that the differences among the Lebanese, the political incapability embodied in the failure to fill the presidential vacuum and to address pressing living matters all threaten the country's unity,” he said urging the Lebanese to get together.

On the international and regional efforts to build a common front to combat Islamist State Jihadists, Salam stated that “the international calculations are different from ours. They mostly relate to their interests and the sharing of power and distribution of roles.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for a global coalition of nations to combat Islamic State Jihadists' "genocidal agenda" in Syria and Northern Iraq.

On the Syrian refugees flocking to Lebanon and burdening the country at all levels, Salam stressed: “All we care about is to provide a larger scale of protection for Lebanon and our vital interests in security and stability, and to provide what is needed to meet imminent entitlements mainly the issue of Syrian refugees.”

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude at the U.S. military assistance that arrived to Lebanon on Friday, he said: “No doubt that the first batch of U.S. military assistance translates the American support for Lebanon and the clear position to help it confront terrorism.”

A shipment of weapons, ammunition, and equipment was delivered by the United States to the Lebanese army on Friday.

The assistance arrived at the Rafik Hariri International Airport and will be aimed at aiding the army in its combat of terrorism.

D.A.

H.K.


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