Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji announced on Wednesday that the Lebanese army will not be the scapegoat of Lebanese and regional disputes.
He said: “We will not remain silent against those who target us.”
He made his remarks on the 13th anniversary of the liberation of the South, which lands on May 25.
“As part of the army, we took it upon ourselves to rise up to the challenges facing us, such as the repeated Israeli threats, interval political tensions, and threats to attack the army,” he added.
Since Monday, the army has come under attack by gunmen as its soldiers attempted to contain clashes that broke out in the northern city of Tripoli between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen on Sunday.
Qahwaji added: “We are facing a dangerous situation where the army and Lebanon have become targets.”
He stressed: “We are facing these threats through dialogue and at other instances through our right to defend ourselves.”
“Some sides have viewed our silence and dialogue as a form of weakness and therefore attempted to harm our unity through launching sectarian accusations,” added the army commander.
“Inasmuch as we are ready to present sacrifices, we will refuse to have the army turn into the scapegoat of Lebanese and regional disputes,” he declared.
“We hold these sides responsible for the recent developments in Lebanon and attempts to create strife on the internal scene through putting the army in confrontation with the Lebanese people,” Qahwaji stated.
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