Lebanese Army Deploys in Wadi Khaled, Opposition Describes Measures as 'Syrian Orders'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Lebanese army deployed on Saturday in the northern village of Wadi Khaled after media outlets reported that members of the Free Syrian Army were present in the area.
“On Saturday morning the military carried out three airdrops in al-Rami village near Wadi Khaled and searched the area for hours,” a military source told LBC.
The source noted that these measures were taken depending on the circumstances and “it could end on Saturday.”
MP Moein al-Merehbi confirmed the incident, slamming the deployment of the army as “Syrian orders to President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, and Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji.”
“Media reports saying that there are terrorists infiltrating from Syria into Lebanon and vice-versa are bizarre and strange,” he stated.
Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that Wadi Khaled is a military base for the Free Syrian Army.
According to the daily the Free Syrian Army officers and troops are moving liberally along the illegal border crossings, smuggling weapons and transporting injured soldiers.
Merehbi expressed regret for this “Syrian deployment command” when the “martyrs and injured people in the area didn’t provoke the Lebanese state to do so.”
“There are plans between the (Lebanese) army and the Syrian forces to displace the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and to arrest those who are wanted” by the regime, Merehbi said.
He noted that the “Syrian army is forcing the residents of the area to refuse sheltering the refugees,” urging the “army to halt the ongoing Syrian violations in Lebanon.”
Resident ruled out to LBC that there are any members of the Free Syrian Army in the area or there are arms smuggling operations, demanding “the army to protect them from any Syrian violations.”
Future Movement MPs in Akkar Merehbi, Khaled al-Daher, and Khaled Zahraman issued a statement welcoming the army in the north as they warned from an attempt to “frighten the residents in the area and their Syrian guests instead of deploying to safeguard them from the (Syrian) regime’s brutal assaults.”
“How could the army’s deployment around houses in Akkar protect the residents, unless they aim at detaining any Syrian refugee that the regime demands,” the statement said, urging it to deploy along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
They added that “the army’s failure to take previous measures when the Assad troops violated the area” supports their statement.
Thousands of Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon as the state cracks down on a popular revolt against President Bashar Assad regime, now in its eleventh month.
In November, The Syrian army laced the Lebanese border with landmines in a bid to curb arms smuggling and hampering army defectors and refugees from fleeing.
Syrian troops have also staged deadly incursions into border villages in neighboring Lebanon.
The United Nations estimate earlier this month that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since protests against the Assad regime began in mid-March.