Cautious Calm in Tripoli as Army Deploys Heavily in Cityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The army began to deploy on Tuesday in Syria Street, which separates the rival neighborhoods of Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh and Alawite Jabal Mohsen in Tripoli, after guarantees that it won’t come under fire.
According to the National News Agency, the army combed the streets to remove any unexploded ordnance.
Cautious calm prevailed in Tripoli but was breached by sporadic gunshots at dawn.
The army issued a statement later confirming the troop deployment in Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen, and Syria Street.
“The army is conducting patrols and setting checkpoints in the city to prevent any security breach and to enable citizens to resume their normal lives,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the Internal Security Forces also reinforced its presence in Tripoli.
“The military command stressed that maintaining security is a national need and chaos does not serve anyone’s interest,” the army said.
It noted that the army is present to preserve stability in the northern port city and not to wage a confrontation with the residents.
The army urged the residents to support the army, confirming its decision to demilitarize the city.
Army Commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji told al-Akhbar newspaper Tuesday that the situation in the area will be resolved and “will go back to normal gradually.”
Asked about the political decision that the army was waiting for in order to deploy in Tripoli, he said that the army “entered the area of clashes as soon as they started but it went under fire, and the most important issue was to protect our troops.”
“When we made sure that everyone is demanding the army to intervene and that the army and troops will be safe from any sporadic gunshots, we decided to heavily deploy in the areas of tension,” Qahwaji told the daily.
Sources close to Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed the army was granted a “political and an official cover.”
The clashes in Tripoli have been ongoing for the past three days after the General Security Department detained Shadi al-Mawlawi on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.
Al-Mawlawi's supporters say he was targeted because of his help for Syrian refugees fleeing to Lebanon.