LA Kills Senior Daesh Militant on Northeastern Border
The Lebanese Army [LA] Thursday killed two Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Takfiri "ISIS" / "ISIL"] extremists, including a senior commander, during a major military operation on the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal.
Nayef Shaalan, who is also known as Abou Fouz, was killed in an early morning raid by the army in the Wadi al-Hosn area, a security source said.
The source added that army intelligence had monitored and identified the whereabouts of Shaalan prior to the attack.
The state-run National News Agency reported that Ahmad Marwa, who was accompanying Shaalan, was also killed. The army also arrested Mohammed Mossali and other militants and moved them to nearby army barracks.
The NNA added that a LA soldier suffered minor injuries in the attack and was later transported to a nearby hospital. The army was able to seize weapons from Daesh during the raids.
Lebanese troops frequently launch preemptive strikes against Daesh and the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, who are entrenched on the outskirts of Arsal near the tense border with Syria.
For his part, Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel commended Lebanon for being the first line of defense in the war against extremist militant groups, calling for military aid to the army.
"Because of its [geographical] position, Lebanon is considered the doorway to a big part of the countries east of the Mediterranean Sea," Moqbel said during a speech at the fifth Moscow Conference on International Security.
Moqbel is among 500 participants from 80 different countries taking part in the two-day conference organized by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Moqbel said that the army's efforts to fend off militants could not be made without intelligence work, which is discovering and cracking down on extremist sleeper cells inside Lebanon.
"They have helped to arrest many [militants] and foiled suicide attacks and assassinations that would have destroyed Lebanon if carried out," he said.
Moqbel said that despite the criminal and barbaric acts committed by militant groups, Lebanese forces continued to fight them in line with international humanitarian laws.
He added that it was important to support the Lebanese Army and security forces by providing them with arms, training and intelligence so that they could continue their battle. Before heading to Moscow, Moqbel said that he will try to get donors to follow up on promises of support for the Lebanese Army.
Moqbel added that it was important for the international community to ease the burden on Lebanon with the Syrian refugee crisis.
"The Syrian refugee problem in Lebanon is not only bringing economic and social problems, but it is more harmful than that. I am talking about the security dangers that Lebanon faces," he said.
Lebanon has been home to around 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees since the war erupted in 2011. However, the number is believed to be much higher.
While the Lebanese Army fights Daesh and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front along its northeastern border, police had arrested hundreds of suspected militants across the country to avoid a spillover of the war in neighboring Syria.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team