Lebanese army ‘taking all measures’ against terror threat at Syrian border

Gen. Joseph Aoun, commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, inspecting Jaroud Arsal on Wednesday. (NNA)
Updated 20 July 2017

Lebanese army ‘taking all measures’ against terror threat at Syrian border

BEIRUT: The Lebanese army is taking “all necessary measures” to protect towns near the border with Syria from terrorists operating in the area, the commander of the country’s armed forces has said.
Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun on Wednesday inspected the military forces in the areas around Jaroud Arsal.
The barren area in the mountains between Syria and Lebanon has been a base of operations for insurgents fighting in the Syrian civil war, including members of Daesh and the group formerly known as Al-Nusra Front.
Aoun stressed the need to take “all necessary measures to protect border towns and villages and ensure the safety of their residents against any terrorist violations.”
He confirmed the army’s ability and determination to deter terrorist organizations, stressing that the army “was able to protect Lebanon in its most difficult situations, and would continue doing so regardless of the price… We don’t listen to all critical voices that want to jeopardize our ability to do our sacred role.”
The local mayor released a statement calling upon “Syrians in camps around the area… to stick to their tents and houses in cases of emergency, and not appear armed in any case. Otherwise, they will be held accountable.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri said on Tuesday that the army would carry out an operation in the border area.
Speaking in the Parliament, Al-Hariri described the operation planned for Jaroud Arsal as carefully studied, the National News Agency reported. The government had given the army the “freedom” to act, he added.
Syrian regime warplanes have been intensifying strikes in the area, local residents said.
Abu Omar, one of the residents, said: “This is the first time the hits take place in the morning and evening, indicating that the battle Hezbollah wants to wage against the Syrian militants in Arsal ... is approaching.”


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.