Qahwaji: Majority of Tripoli Gunmen under Politicians’ Influenceإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji stressed that politicians have a responsibility to work on restoring calm in the northern city of Tripoli, reported As Safir newspaper on Friday.
He told the newspaper: “More than half of the gunmen in Tripoli are under the politicians’ influence.”
“They therefore are obligated to order them to withdraw from the street and work on easing the heated political rhetoric,” he noted.
“They should create a suitable atmosphere to harbor the army since it remains the Lebanese people’s first and last resort,” declared Qahwaji.
He stressed: “If the army’s authority is destroyed, then nothing will remain of the military institution.”
Strengthening the institution must be a priority for the politicians because its empowerment will reassure the Lebanese people, continued the army commander.
The army is determined to complete its mission in Tripoli and remove all armed presence in the city, he added.
“It was ordered to act firmly to restore calm and protect the people,” he said.
Clashes erupted in Tripoli on Saturday in light of the arrest of Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi.
The clashes broke out between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, leaving nine dead and 90 wounded.