Army Command Denies Reports on Qahwaji's Resignation over Sidon Clashesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Army Command denied on Tuesday media reports that its commander General Jean Qahwaji had submitted his resignation over the clashes in the southern city of Sidon.
It denied that Qahwaji would have handed President Michel Suleiman the resignation if the army was prevented from storming the security zone under the control of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir's armed supporters in Sidon.
The Army Command said: “The president has voiced his complete trust in the military institution and its leadership.”
“He voiced his complete support for all the security measures that the army will take to confront assaults by the gunmen,” it stressed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Qahwaji visited the scenes of the clashes that took place between the army and al-Asir's supporters in Sidon, hailing the army for its sacrifices and commitment to serve the country.
He also called on the soldiers to maintain the security measures aimed at protecting the people and restoring stability in the city.
Qahwaji also offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the two-day clashes.
At least 16 soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in clashes with the armed supporters of al-Asir in Sidon.
More than 20 of al-Asir's supporters were killed, according to a security official.
Dozens of them were also arrested, but there was no sign of the cleric.