Salam Considers Situation in Arsal 'Dangerous', Says Ceasefire Requires Several Conditions

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Prime Minister Tammam Salam described on Monday the situation in the northeastern border town of Arsal as “difficult,” expressing hope that ceasefire attempts would be successful.

“Our conditions are clear, gunmen must withdraw to the outskirts (of Arsal) and then outside Lebanese territories and all security members taken hostage must be released,” Salam told al-Mustaqbal newspaper.

Commenting on reports concerning alleged negotiations to reach a ceasefire in the area, Salam said: “We don't mind such endeavors if we reach a permanent end to the clashes and the withdrawal of gunmen.”

“Such endeavors require thorough follow up to become mature.”

The premier voiced hope that politicians would reach a comprehensive and united stance to safeguard the army, which has been battling since Saturday Islamist gunmen.

“We support the army and the residents of Arsal, who were taken as hostages by armed men.”

The violence is the worst to hit Arsal since the beginning of the war in neighboring Syria in 2011.

Media reports said on Sunday evening that a humanitarian truce was reached between the army and gunmen following efforts by the Muslim Scholars Committee.

However, the reports said that the Army Command made several demands in order to agree on ceasefire, including the handing over of all missing troops.”

Salam told al-Mustaqbal that Arsal doesn't harbor gunmen, saying: “Syrian encampments in the area facilitate matters for armed men.”

He warned of the risks posed by such a matter, stressing the importance of controlling these sites.

Arsal is home to 40,000 residents and 120,000 Syrian refugees.

The Sunni-majority area is sympathetic to the uprising against Bashar Assad, whose regime has regularly launched air raids in the area that it says target opposition fighters holed up in the mountainous region around Arsal.



Comments 8
Thumb kataebi1965 04 August 2014, 08:53

Helping , assisting and allowing refugees to come in un-controlled into Lebanon has created terrorist cells in all refugee camps , wether Syrian or Palestinian .
Can't you morons see that this was happening and building up ? This was obvious on the long term and now we are paying the price .
All Syrians in Lebanon should be put under control immediately and guided into zoned camps that are monitored and security screened and not allow them to spread all over the Lebanese state .....
Nobody post stupid responses , if you can't see the danger then there is no point in even responding

Missing imagine_1979 04 August 2014, 09:42

Till now lebanon refuse officially to admit refuge status (legi2in) the official status is displaced (nezihin) i know for most of us it's just different words with same meanning but in official legal status we still don't hv refugies (as still nothing is happening and as if most of them came for work oppurtinities in lebanon aka minister bassil)
So no refugies; no camps; no UN official intervention (or shy intervention threw NGOs..)
This have been said for years and still same official position (aka bassil)
Yes refugies camps with everyone listed, UN supervision for food and adequate shelter and medic for them no to become cheap mercenaries; when u r hungry, when ur familly is in streets looking for food u r more prone to go to illigal things, we do worse even in descent and modern countries ask ROAR about lebanese in austerlia..)

Missing imagine_1979 04 August 2014, 09:43

And of course again hezbos are fighting in syria and without lebanon official approval (official disociation policy) and once again we all pay the price...
Refugies camps, UN and lebanese army on all our border (all in all around 500 km includind southern frontiers) no one comes in or go out without being checked...
And a lot of chupchups...

Thumb geha 04 August 2014, 09:43

Creating camps at the border was requested long time ago but refused by hizbushaitan and fpm.
the actions of hizbushaitan and fpm have brought this additional threatening situation on us and the army.
my fear is that this situation is going to worsen and extend to the whole of Lebanon, and our army is not equipped enough to be able to deal with such a situation.
any observer could have seen this situation developing since the start of hizbushaitan involvement in Syria: they brought all this on us. did they really think the Syrians would not retaliate?
anyway, this seems to be only the beginning...

Thumb ex-fpm 04 August 2014, 10:59

evil indeed

Thumb ex-fpm 04 August 2014, 09:51

12 minutes ago Bassil called on the international community to urgently support the Lebanese army to confront terrorism.

How will Bassil explain to the international community his MOU with HA, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that is waging war in neighboring Syria.

Default-user-icon kazan (Guest) 04 August 2014, 09:52

Why lebanese people do not feel united as one nation? why,since decades, some have sympathy and even identify themselves with Iran,Syria, S.A , Egypt ,or Europe?
As long as there is no answer to this basic question, then,unfortunately there is poor chance to find a constructive and sustainable political solution in this country.

Thumb ex-fpm 04 August 2014, 11:00

you should be arrested for slander