Army Raids Tripoli Neighborhoods as Sniper Fire Resumes, Charbel Says Full Deployment in 48 Hoursإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Sniper activity renewed on Thursday in the northern city of Tripoli as the army began a series of raids to detain offenders and seized weapons from a depot in the wheat market.
According to a communique issued by the army the arms depot included a quantity of explosives, local-made mortars, rifles and ammunition and other military equipment.
The statement pointed out that depot belongs to Ziad Allouki.
It also revealed that a patrol was targeted with gunfire in Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen, during raids in the city.
Al-Jadeed television said a clash erupted between the army and gunmen in an area between Nejmeh Square and Bab al-Ramel in Tripoli, amid reports of casualties.
The army vowed to continue pursuing gunmen, warning that it will not hesitate in responding to those who are violating security.
Caretaker Interior Minister Charbel assured from Tripoli that the army will complete "full deployment in the city within 48 hours," urging gunmen to support the military institution's plan.
"The army has been implementing a security plan since Wednesday and definitely there have been obstacles along the way but they're overcoming them,” he said after meeting with al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Mohammed Kabbara at the latter's residence.
“We agreed on letting the army continue implementing its security plan and it will complete full deployment in the city within 48 hours.”
Charbel revealed that the security forces will patrol and erect checkpoints in Tripoli, noting that "all the wanted and the perpetrator will be arrested."
He stressed: “The army will not back away neither will the security forces.”
"(Caretaker Prime Minister) Najib Miqati will reconstruct the city when things calm down, and the cabinet has taken a decision to finance projects worth USD100 million,”Charbel revealed.
Prior to the talks with Kabbara, the caretaker minister had inspected the posts of security forces in the city and presided over a security meeting at Tripoli's serail.
Meanwhile, MP Kabbara said after the meeting that “all Tripoli's figures agree that the only option is the state through the army and the security forces.”
Kabbara also called on the gunmen to withdraw from the streets.
The al-Mustaqbal MP had participated earlier in a meeting with a number of deputies and dignitaries to discuss the latest developments in the city, Radio Voice of Lebanon (93.3) reported.
After the National Islamic Gathering's meeting, Kabbara urged "the army and the state to prove their keenness to preserve the safety of Tripoli."
"Our choice is for the state to apply a security plan in a fair and transparent manner without any discrimination between one region and another," he stressed.
"The Gathering's meetings are open and it is supervising the application of the security plan, especially the violations of armed groups in Ball Mohsen."
Kabbara warned of groups that have "no interest in preserving security in Tripoli."
"Some Syria and Hizbullah-affiliated parties say Tripoli is not under the rule of law," he said.
While he assured that "things are going back to normal in Tripoli," the northern MP added: "We call on the residents of Tripoli not to allow anyone to cause chaos in the city."
The Arab Democratic Party announced on Thursday afternoon lifting the political cover off any security violator in Tripoli, MTV said.
As well, Al-Mustaqbal movement expressed concern over the situation in the North, urging Tripoli's residents to "cooperate responsibly with the army's measures and not to give those seeking to harm the city's unity the chance to implement their foreign objectives."
The state-run National News Agency earlier reported that the army patrolled the streets separating the rival neighborhoods of Alawite Jabal Mohsen and Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Media reports said that an officer and several soldiers were injured in the wheat market and in Bohsas after unknown assailants opened fire at their patrol.
The news agency reported that the residents of the wheat market blocked the road in the area with burning tires to protest the arrest of several people, prompting the army to open fire in the air to disperse them.
Traffic and most markets, shops,schools and university campuses opened their doors as usual in the city.
However, several media outlets reported that assailants torched shops in the northern city to force closure.
On Wednesday the Army Command vowed in a statement that it will take decisive measures to address the thorny situation in Tripoli away from any political interference.
Later, the NNA reported that a 4x4 flipped on al-Mallouleh bridge after snipers targeted it.
The international road linking Tripoli with Syria was also blocked.
The city has so far witnessed around 17 rounds of fighting which intensified when the now more than two-year conflict erupted in Syria.
For the first time last month, supporters and opponents of Assad lobbed mortar shells and fired heavy machine guns at each other.
The latest confrontations come after a brief lull in the violence between the two sides, following a flare-up last month that left 31 people dead and more than 200 hurt.
A statement was issued after a meeting in Tripoli's Dar al-Fatwa lauding the role of the army and security forces in preserving security.
“The measures should be comprehensive and reach all Lebanese territories,” Sheikh Mohammed Imam, who read the statement said.
The attendees called on security agencies to be “transparent” to avoid strife.
“We urge Tripoli residents to avoid strife and stress that the army preserves Tripoli's security and that of Lebanon,” Imam added.
Finally some good news for Tripoli and indeed all of Lebanon. Hopefully the Army will stay out of the reach of political gamesmanship and fulfill the promise of peace for Tripoli.
The politicians from both M14 and M8 have used the death and destruction in Tripoli for their own selfish purposes. Reports of the Tripoli violence have been reported worldwide and indict the Lebanese government.
The politicians complain about the slumping economy, lack of tourism and investment and the rise of sectarian violence yet implicitly condoned the violence by inaction giving all of Lebanon a big black eye.
Unfortunately, only the Salafists have been targeting the army. The wheat market and Arsal are not in Jabal Mohsen. Treating them the same is a complete joke.
The Salfists are the ones targeting the army. Arsal and this wheat market are not in Jabal Mohsen. Give credit where credit is due, and attack the actual perpetrators, instead of the victims.
"The army announced that a patrol was targeted with gunfire in Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen and revealed seizing an arms depot."
And how many were killed exactly? None.
"The Salfists are the ones targeting the army." that is what you have written , so i am answering it.... the salafis aren't the only ones as you say :)
Anyone who raises a weapon against the army deserves only one thing......a bullet in the head.
Bad idea to do it so long after raiding Jabal Mohsen, which gave the Salafists plenty of time to hide their weapons.
PLS ARMY bring all criminals down with an iron fist..no mercy to anyone, and no one is above the law..
This is an internal security forces' job, not the army. The army has been as patient and tolerant as it is possible, and they took the most casualties without responding with lethal force. It's time they do, and I hope you are in their line of fire.
LOL ... if the army fires at bab el tebbaneh you d say they are pro syrian, if they shoot at jabal mohsen that they are pro M14!
the army is fighting to preserve its unity first and avoid being divided coz if it happens then bye bye lebanon....
they just let the extremes play their childish game and containing the trouble within a perimiter....
Yes let's return the peace and what belongs to Syria to Syria, and keep Tripoli for the Tripolitians. The way I look at the world is when Hizbolla and Jabal Mohsen want to hold on to their weapons then the whole nation will be armed as these militias are causing destruction to Lebanon everytime they shoot a bullet.
its frustrating for Sunnis... all this injustice from Qusayr to jabal mehsen.. the army stop them when they bare arms and watch Shias go everywhere and doing anything armed to the teeth, they please not the mention that Sunnis are the majority! Injustice.