Lebanese president praises Army response to FSA attack

Michel Sleiman praised over the weekend steps taken by the Lebanese Army following an attack on the military by the Free Syrian Army in the north.“Sleiman hailed the actions taken by the Lebanese Army Saturday on the outskirts of Arsal to protect Lebanese territory and prevent it from being used by any side,” the president said Saturday in a statement, according to his office.In a statement earlier in the day, the Army said members of the Free Syrian Army attacked a Lebanese military post Friday night near the northern border with Syria. No causalities were reported.
“For the second time in less than a week, a unit from the Free Syrian Army [consisting of] a large number of gunmen entered Lebanese territory overnight via the outskirts of Arsal, where it attacked one of the Lebanese Army’s posts,” the statement said.Following the incident, Army reinforcements were dispatched to the area, while soldiers began pursuing the assailants who escaped toward the mountains as well as some border towns, according to the statement. ”The Army’s leadership affirms that it will not allow any party to use Lebanese territory to implicate Lebanon in ongoing events in neighboring countries,” the Army said.Residents in Arsal, located 10 kilometers from the border with Syria, told The Daily Star that earlier Friday the Army caught an unspecified number of members of the Syrian rebel group, but released them hours later due to pressure by the town’s notables.”The participants also agreed on the need to control the increasingly tense Lebanese-Syrian border, rejected the idea of a buffer zone between the two countries and said a “base or corridor for the smuggling of arms and gunmen” would not be tolerated.

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