Aoun Urges State to Crackdown on Gunmen: Arsal Clash Must Not Be Turned into a Factional Issue
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun condemned on Tuesday the Arsal clash, saying that it has demonstrated that the Lebanese people have become embroiled in the Syrian conflict.
He said after the Change and Reform bloc's weekly meeting: “The Arsal clash should not be turned into a factional issue.”
He also urged the state to crackdown on gunmen, while highlighting Arsal municipality head Ali Hujairi's statements that he controls some 100 kilometers of the Lebanese-Syrian border.
“The clash is the result of the ongoing failure to impose security in the area,” remarked Aoun.
“The state must regain its sovereignty and apprehend the gunmen,” he demanded.
“We no longer want to hear talk of disassociating Lebanon” from regional issues because this policy has failed, continued the lawmaker.
He also offered his condolences to the families of the officers who were killed during Friday's clash.
“The army belongs to all citizens,” he stressed.
“How many more of these clashes will take place?” he wondered, while saying that some politicians and clerics are accomplices to the criminals.
“The resistance has never killed a soldier and none of its members ever directed their weapons against the army,” Aoun added.
“Resistance groups differ from terrorist ones in that they do not employ sectarian rhetoric or kill based on the victim's identity,” he noted.
Two officers, Pierre Bashaalani and Ibrahim Zahraman, were killed in clashes in the Bekaa town of Arsal as the army was seeking to apprehend a wanted suspect, Khaled Hmayyed, who was also killed in the incident.