Ghosn Warns Armed Forces Won't Tolerate Attempts to Target Stability

Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said Thursday that the Lebanese army and security forces will not tolerate any attempt to employ the current circumstances in the region against internal stability.

“Security agencies and mainly the Lebanese army are on alert” over the challenges that Lebanon is facing from the influx of refugees escaping the fighting between government troops and rebels in Syria, Ghosn said.

“They have taken a series of precautions either through upgrading efforts to preserve internal security or through stronger measures to control the border,” the National News Agency quoted him as saying.

His comment came amid a controversy on how to deal with the rising number of displaced Syrians and Palestinians. There are estimates that the current number of refugees will rise from 150,000 to 300,000 in the next six months.

Several cabinet ministers, including the defense minister, are calling for a stricter border control and for consolidated efforts to prevent the infiltration of gunmen through illegal crossings on the porous border with Syria.

The influx “could lead to the infiltration of some gunmen or terrorists to Lebanon in an attempt to tamper with its security and stability,” he warned, saying “we won't be lenient with anyone who tries to take advantage of the current circumstances to manipulate internal stability.”

He said however that “it is almost certain that the (refugee) crisis will grow.”

Ghosn also called on the Lebanese to set their differences aside and cooperate to overcome the problem along with the delicate economic situation in the country.

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