Mashnouq Responding to Qassem: He Wants to Destroy Arsal, Not Liberate it

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Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq criticized on Sunday the recent remarks of Hizbullah deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem on “liberating” the northeastern border town of Arsal, saying that the army should be responsible for such a mission, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal.

He told the daily: “Qassem is calling for the destruction of Arsal, not its liberation.”

Qassem had voiced on Saturday Hizbullah's “determination to confront the takfiri threat on the outskirts of Arsal to liberate the land.”

He referred to the case of Iraq's Ramadi region and slammed those who “proposed that we sit aside and allow the official armed forces to perform their duties.”

“In Ramadi,” continued Qassem, “officials said that we do not need the help of the Popular Mobilization forces to combat the Islamic State group in order to avert Sunni-Shiite strife.”

“The forces therefore did not get involved and fighting ensued in Ramadi and the IS infiltrated and seized the region,” he explained.

Mashnouq slammed the Hizbullah official's statements, adding: “Liberating Arsal does not take place through a sectarian attack.”

“This is the mission of the state, army, and official security forces,” he stressed.

“They are responsible for freeing Arsal and any other inch of Lebanese land,” he declared to al-Mustaqbal.

Arsal municipal chief Ali al-Hujeiri expressed concern Saturday over attempts by Hizbullah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to drag the town into battle.

The official called on Hizbullah to avert a crisis in Arsal and the region as the repercussions of its fall will impact everyone, stressing that the town supports the army and its decisions.

Hizbullah backed by Syrian forces controlled strategic areas in Syria's al-Qalamoun that abuts Lebanon's eastern border as fighting rages in the region.

Hizbullah cites that fear of militants from the IS and al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front sweeping through Shiite and Christian villages in Lebanon as one of the main reasons for its involvement in Syria.

Some observers however fear the Qalamoun offensive could prompt Islamist militants to launch attacks in Shiite areas of Lebanon itself, including Beirut's southern suburbs.


Comments 8
Thumb ex-fpm 24 May 2015, 08:13

The Iranians through their proxies in Lebanon are calling for the replacement of the official armed forces with their militias.

Thumb geha 24 May 2015, 08:35

if we look at the map, we will notice that Arsal is the main sunni city in the area, thus the sectarian extremist shia terrorist iranian militia considers it as a thorn in their tight, and they want to eradicate it by any means.

Missing coolmec 24 May 2015, 10:37

In the meantime Lebanon is getting deeper in the abyss
pity the nation

Missing humble 24 May 2015, 11:23

Ebola has destroyed National Unity and the will of living together.

Missing humble 24 May 2015, 11:26

When an entity is losing, it does draw the attention on other issues to not let people see their defeat.

Thumb Mystic 24 May 2015, 16:17

Mashnouq the so called voice of "moderation" continues along with his fellow Mostaqbalis and March 14ers to lay their hands in protection around Arsal takfiris ISIS & Nusra.

How about Mashnouqs Al Nusra thugs that exploded innocent Shia Alawites in Jabal Me7sen Tripoli, in January?

Thumb Mystic 24 May 2015, 16:20

People of Jabal Mohsen have a right to live Mashnouq, you are a Wahabi stooge.

Thumb thepatriot 25 May 2015, 10:57

Leb 08... grow up a brain and understand that no one here is a supporter of Al Quaeda! Being against Ebola does not mean one supports Isis. Is that too difficult for you to grasp?