Army Command Denies Reports on Qahwaji's Resignation over Sidon Clashes

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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.

Comments 4
Thumb primesuspect 25 June 2013, 18:36

why would jean Qahwaji consider resigning unless he's been used and abused by hizballah?

Thumb benzona 25 June 2013, 19:48

It does seem he is pleasing them in return of favours.

We should do our best to keep Michel Suleiman.

What I dislike about this country is that army general become presidents. It's so backward....

Missing george710 25 June 2013, 21:11

What's wrong with generals becoming president?

Default-user-icon dddd (Guest) 26 June 2013, 13:17

Generals are to stay Generals and politicians are to remain politicians as well as bearded clerics of all confessions too.
everyone is good in his right place! am against generals for president as well as am against politicians to interfere in the military! for clerics allah yekmikon hellou 3an Lebnen ba2a ou trekoulna el siyeseh!