Lebanon to complain to UN about Israeli violation of airspace

In this photo released by Lebanon's official government photographer Dalati Nohra, Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, right, and Spanish Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf, left, listen to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, speaking to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, in this Aug. 30, 2017 photo. (AP)
Updated 10 September 2017
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Lebanon to complain to UN about Israeli violation of airspace

BEIRUT: Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has directed his country’s permanent representative to the UN to file an “urgent complaint against Israel for breaching Lebanese airspace.”
Israel this week admitted carrying out “a raid against targets on Syrian territory from Lebanese airspace.”
Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council, chaired by President Michel Aoun, met on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, other ministers and heads of the security forces. The council directed Bassil to submit a complaint to the UN Security Council.
“The presentation made by the security leaders during the meeting of the council confirmed that the Israelis used Lebanese airspace to launch a raid on Syria,” Interior Minister Nohad Al-Mashnouq told Arab News.
“It’s normal for Lebanon to lodge a complaint to the Security Council because we don’t accept any strike from Lebanese airspace, whether from the Israelis or anyone else. Strikes will exacerbate the situation without any valid justification. Lebanon should play no part in the ongoing regional tension.”
State Minister for Combatting Corruption Nicolas Tueni said in a statement: “The Israeli enemy using Lebanese airspace to launch its raids is a clear violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
He added: “What the enemy has done is mainly to evade Russian air defenses; it is another attempt to drag Lebanon into the midst of wars in the region and an attempt to undermine the victories of our army and our slain soldiers.
“It is living proof of Israeli violence, knowing that Lebanon and its people have defeated the enemy several times which led to the collapse of Israeli military deterrence forces. The Israeli leaders will not dare to venture again into Lebanon.”
Meanwhile, a meeting was held between the commander in chief of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Gen. Michael Perry, and the heads of the municipalities of villages in Tyre.
He said UNIFIL is “working day and night” to defuse tensions along the Lebanese-Israeli border, “in cooperation with our colleagues and strategic partners in the Lebanese Army.”
The American Embassy in Lebanon said the US Central Command’s director of strategy, plans and policy, Maj. Gen. George Smith, met with Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun and congratulated the army on its recent success in border operations against militants.
Smith “met with senior Lebanese military counterparts to discuss areas of cooperation to further develop the army’s capabilities as the sole defender of Lebanese territory and Lebanese borders,” the embassy said in a statement.


Drone strike near Tripoli kills seven fighters loyal to Haftar

Updated 7 sec ago
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Drone strike near Tripoli kills seven fighters loyal to Haftar

BENGHAZI: At least seven fighters loyal to Libyan National Army (LNA) forces commanded by Khalifa Haftar were killed overnight in a drone strike in southern Tripoli, a military source said.
Eastern-based LNA had downed a drone on Sunday in Tripoli’s southern suburb of Ain Zara, it said without elaborating.
In the latest turmoil since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Haftar’s LNA has been unable to take Tripoli from the internationally recognized government despite fighting that has caused havoc in the capital’s southern suburbs and displaced tens of thousands of civilians.