Mashnouq Plays Down Jomaa's Confessions Effect on Release of Arsal Captives

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Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq played down on Tuesday the confessions of al-Nusra Front leader, whose arrest sparked clashes between Islamist gunmen with the Lebanese army earlier in August.

“I don't think that (Imad) Jomaa's confessions would thwart the ongoing endeavors to release the kidnapped soldiers,” Mashnouq said in comments published in al-Liwaa newspaper.

He ruled out any tension among cabinet members on the matter, denying that the release of Jomaa is a condition set by the Islamist gunmen to safely release the security personnel.

“The demands circulated in media outlets are inaccurate,” Mahsnouq, who is a Mustaqbal movement official, told the newspaper.

On August 2, deadly fighting erupted in and around the northeastern border town of Arsal, leaving 19 soldiers, 16 civilians and dozens of jihadists dead. The clashes ended with a truce negotiated by Lebanese Sunni clerics, but the jihadists withdrew from the area taking captive around 34 security personnel with them.

The assault on the town aimed to “turn it into a launchpad for attacks against other Lebanese towns and against the Lebanese Army in order to create a bigger conflict zone stretching from Syria's Qalamun and the Bekaa to the (Lebanese) north,” Jomaa has reportedly confessed.

“We will exert efforts to release the hostage security personnel,” Mashnouq said, slamming the Muslim Scholars Committee for “publicly” suspending their negotiations with the armed men.

Jomaa was known to be a member of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syria franchise, but a video that surfaced in recent weeks shows him pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which reportedly appointed him as the leader of the extremist Fajr al-Islam Brigade.

Media reports have said that Abou Talal al-Hamad assumed leadership of the Brigade in the wake of Jomaa's arrest and that he is in charge of negotiating over the abducted troops.



Comments 13
Missing ysurais 26 August 2014, 09:31

No matter what jomaa must get the death penalty and executed by hanging in the center town of Arsal. so ever1 understands the seriousness of LEB state dealing wz z terrorits.

Thumb _mowaten_ 26 August 2014, 10:05

i second that. and the army should have never let the terrorists get out of arsal alive, even less let them take the hostages with them.

Default-user-icon Behrooz Mahmud Behnam (Guest) 26 August 2014, 11:36

Flamethrower, My family and I are impressed by your analysis of events and your readiness to always provide facts when you debate. How do you do it? We love it!!!

Default-user-icon being achwikt (Guest) 26 August 2014, 14:41

mouwaten stop attacking the Lebanese army they known what they are doing better than you, you are no better than daher and kabbara

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 August 2014, 12:11

i am not attacking the army dumbo, just saying that in my opinion they should have been given more freedom to act. i can guarantee you each and every soldier in the LAF wanted to go in and eradicate the scum who killed their brothers and took dozens hostage.

it is the political obstruction i am attacking, and the dirty deals that were made to save the nusra/isis terrorists.

Thumb EagleDawn 26 August 2014, 11:33

The paid terrorists are now attacking and criticizing the Army for averting a civil war. Their false love and care are but too obvious.

Thumb _mowaten_ 26 August 2014, 11:48

nice story bro.

Thumb _mowaten_ 26 August 2014, 12:44

so touching, I almost shed a tear. almost.

Default-user-icon illiterate-Southern (Guest) 26 August 2014, 14:14

well said Southern!

Default-user-icon CFTC (Guest) 26 August 2014, 14:48

terrorist...bleeze, pay a visit to your mum. Take her warmly in your arms...hopefully, it will remind you how good it is to be loved (-:

Default-user-icon ado from Oz (Guest) 26 August 2014, 15:49

Go Blue and Gold Army! One Team, One Army.. multiple Naharnet accounts!

Default-user-icon mowaten (Guest) 26 August 2014, 16:22

so touching, I almost shed a tear. almost.

Missing imperatrice 26 August 2014, 13:42

You truly are something another! AGAIN
tric, is that u? how many times do I have to correct your error
M8s, next time you want to flatter FT, use "You truly are something else!"
the rest can use the same sentence bc it also means that he is nuts
see win -win