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Lebanese Social Affairs Minister: Arsal Battles Are Part of Syria’s War | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Lebanese army soldier mans a checkpoint at the entrance to Arsal in the Bekaa valley on August 3, 2014 (AFP Photo/)

Beirut – Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi said on Monday that battles taking place along the borders with Syria were part of Syria’s war.

In an interview with LBCI, the minister said: “The battles currently taking place at the border between Lebanon and Syria are part of what is happening in Syria and come within the framework of the regional battle.”

He also stressed that the Lebanese Forces have always called for the demarcation of the border and there has always been a rejection by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“We are only concerned with the decisions taken by the Lebanese government and implemented by the security services, and we look at what is going on in Arsal mountains from the perspective of Lebanon’s interest and not from the perspective of Hezbollah,” the minister said, stressing “absolute support for the Lebanese Army only,” and calling to “hand over to the State any illegal weapons.”

Meanwhile, the Future Movement lashed out at those who “warned against criticizing Hezbollah’s engagement in the Arsal battles.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the movement said: “The Future Movement, which regrets political opposition to the annexation of Lebanon to the Syrian war, affirms its principled position — which it shall never back from — and its attachment to the Lebanese army and security forces’ legitimacy in their capacity as an exclusive tool to defend Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and the protection of the border.”

“The Future Movement, which is saddened by the fall of many Lebanese youths in the midst of wars that only serve the Iranian-Syrian axis, renews its call to rally around the Lebanese army and the other legitimate forces,” the statement added.