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Syrian Coalition Vows to Maintain Talks with Lebanese PM to Contain Arsal Tensions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Lebanese army carrying out raids in Arsal. (NNA)

Beirut – Head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition Riad Seif held talks on Monday with representatives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s northeastern border region of Arsal to address what it described as “the Lebanese army’s assault against refugee camps in the area.”

Seif said that the Coalition will communicate with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to contain tensions there, adding that he will cooperate with Lebanese authorities to find a permanent solution to the Arsal situation.

The head of the Coalition had held talks over the internet with camp representatives “in wake of the state of terror and extreme tensions” that the refugees are living in after the “violent army raid.”

The Lebanese military had used grenades and heavy machinegun fire during its operation, said a Coalition statement according to information obtained from Lebanon.

“A number of refugees were martyred in the attack and some 400 others were detained,” it said.

Abdulrahman al-Akkari, who is responsible for following up on refugee affairs, said that the Arsal incident was a result of a culmination of tensions in the area.

“The refugees were the victims of several violations” in recent months, he said.

“The area is under the control of ‘Hezbollah’ that wants to kick out all of the Syrian refugees,” he stressed.

The Syrian Coalition condemned the violations against the refugees, holding the Lebanese authorities responsible for the their safety.

It demanded that the authorities provide the “necessary protection for the displaced in accordance to International Humanitarian Law until they can safely return to their country.”

“They should cease using terror tactics to harm the unarmed civilians and halt the humiliating arbitrary arrests that do not take into consideration legal or humanitarian circumstances,” it continued.

On Friday, five suicide-bombers blew themselves up on the outskirts of Arsal as the Lebanese army was searching for terrorism suspects.