Frustrated Berri Defends Army against Critics

Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed severe frustration at criticism directed against the army, rejecting verbal assaults on the military, which is caught in a battle with jihadists on the border with Syria.

“The army's soldiers and officers are among the best and we are proud of them,” Berri was quoted by An Nahar daily as saying on Tuesday.

“We appreciate them given the role they are playing and the sacrifices they are making,” he said.

“Any harm done to the military institution is rejected,” Berri added.

The speaker lauded the army for confronting terrorists and stopping them from occupying the northeastern border town of Arsal despite its limited capabilities.

The jihadists from al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group engaged in bloody gunbattles with the army in Arsal last month and took with them hostages from the military and police.

They later executed three of the captives.

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