Lebanon Army Warns It Will Respond to New Syria Raids

Image: Lebanon Army Warns It Will Respond to New Syria Raids Lebanese soldiers are deployed on a road near the entrance of the village of Arsal on the border with Syria.

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 04:21 AM


A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink

BEIRUT — Lebanon's Army said it will respond immediately to any further cross-border attacks by the Syrian military after a helicopter gunship attacked the eastern town of Arsal on Wednesday.

President Michel Sleiman called the attack "a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty" and said the country has the right to take steps to defend itself and to "submit a complaint" to the United Nations and the Arab League.

"Army units deployed in the [Arsal] area took the necessary defensive measures to respond immediately to any similar violations," an army statement said in a rare warning against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier on Wednesday, a helicopter raided Arsal, where a majority of residents support the anti-Assad revolt, for the first time in the nearly 27-month conflict.

At 1:30 p.m., "a Syrian helicopter gunship crossed the border . . . and launched two rockets from a distance at the (Arsal) town center, injuring one person and causing material damage," the army said.

Sleiman, meanwhile, in a statement said "the repeated strikes on Arsal by Syrian helicopter gunships constitute a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and its territorial integrity."

The strikes violate "the conventions that regulate relations between the two countries, as well as international treaties, at a time when the Lebanese state is trying to maintain stability and social peace in Lebanon," he added.

The president called on Syria not to repeat the strikes, and said "Lebanon has the right to take the necessary steps to defend its sovereignty . . . including the right to submit a complaint to the Arab League and the United Nations."

Damascus dominated Lebanon politically and military for 30 years until 2005, and continues to exert significant influence through its allies including the Shiite Hezbollah movement in the Mediterranean country.

Lebanon's poorly equipped army coordinates closely with the Syrian military.

Arsal is sensitive because it is just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the border with Syria. Experts say it has been used as a conduit for weapons and rebels to enter Syria, while it has also served as a refuge for people fleeing the conflict into Lebanon.

Dozens of people wounded in fighting in the key town of Qusair — most of them rebels — flocked to Arsal for treatment last week as the Syrian army and Hezbollah overran the former insurgent bastion.

© AFP 2014

   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Report: Obama Blocking Vital Aid to Ukraine Forces

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 23:34 PM

The Obama administration is withholding essential non-lethal military equipment from Ukrainian security forces, accordin . . .

China's Growth Slows to 24-year low of 7.4 Percent

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 23:33 PM

China's economic growth slowed to a 24-year low of 7.4 percent in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and  . . .

Mike Rogers: Secret al-Qaida Meeting Leaves US in Dark

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 19:07 PM

Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Tuesday that members of al-Qaida in  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved