Lebanon holds day of national mourning for fallen soldiers

Relatives mourn over the coffin of Mohammed Youssef, one of the 10 Lebanese soldiers who died after they had been taken hostage in 2014 by Daesh and whose remains were found along the Syrian border, during his funeral in the town of Mdoukha in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa valley on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 08 September 2017

Lebanon holds day of national mourning for fallen soldiers

BEIRUT: Lebanon held a day of national mourning on Friday in tribute to nine soldiers killed by Daesh terrorists three years ago. A tenth solider, recently killed in an ambush near the Lebanese-Syrian border, was also remembered at the ceremony.
The 10 soldiers honored on Friday were: Ibrahim Mgheit, Ali Masri, Mustafa Wehbe, Seif Zabyan, Mohammed Youssef, Khaled Hassan, Hussein Ammar, Ali Hajj Hassan, Abbas Medlej and Yehya Ali Khoder.
The ceremony was held at the Defense Ministry in Beirut. In tribute to the martyrs, serving soldiers repeated three times, “We will never forget you.”
The soldiers were awarded Lebanon’s highest posthumous medals by Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Their families were handed the Lebanese flag by Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun.
The farewell ceremony was attended by President Michel Aoun; Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri; Prime Minister Saad Hariri; a large number of valiant serving soldiers, representatives of the heads of communities, diplomats and families of the martyrs.
Interior Minister Nohad Al-Mashnouq was not present at the ceremony because the families of the deceased soldiers had accused him of “being behind their sons’ executions, when he stormed Roumieh prison, a year after the abduction of the soldiers, which provoked Daesh militants at the time.”
Addressing the soldiers’ families, President Michel Aoun said: “The blood of your sons was not shed in vain and the goals they died for will be attained and the truth will be unveiled.” He stressed the necessity of “national unity.”
“We will surely triumph over terrorism, and we are aware of the sleeping terrorist cells that will try to retaliate after their defeat; we will remain vigilant,” said Gen. Joseph Aoun in his speech.
“We are fully committed to all provisions of Resolution 1701 and we will cooperate with the UNIFIL to maintain the stability of the southern borders,” he added.
The convoy transporting the coffins of the Lebanese soldiers passed by the families’ tent in Riad Al-Solh Square where relatives of the soldiers have held a sit-in for the past three years. They had demanded to know the fate of their loved ones. Mourners threw rice and flowers at the procession as it passed on its way to the North, to Bekaa and Shouf regions.
“It is a moment of dignity,” said Hussein Youssef, father of soldier Mohammed, and unofficial spokesman for the soldiers’ families.
President Aoun later chaired the Higher Defense Council’s meeting at Baabda Presidential Palace where measures to be taken by the army to deploy troops on the eastern borders were discussed. The meeting also discussed proposals to improve logistics and military supplies as soon as possible.
The Council issued a statement urging “all security forces to remain vigilant in case of retaliatory operations which might destabilize the country.”
The Council delegated Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to submit to the UN Security Council a list of Israeli violations, including the use of Lebanese airspace for direct strikes on Syria.


Houthis killed in clashes with Yemen army

The Yemeni army forced the militants to flee and targeted Houthi reinforcements. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 December 2019

Houthis killed in clashes with Yemen army

  • The clashes broke out when Houthi militants tried to sneak into areas they lost control

DUBAI: The Yemeni Army killed 18 Houthis and wounded 27 in clashes with the Iranian-backed militia in Saada, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

The clashes broke out when Houthi militants tried to sneak into areas they lost control the past two months, according to Yemen's military source “SeptemberNet.”

The Yemeni army forced the militants to flee and targeted Houthi reinforcements.

Meanwhile, the army killed 17 Houthis and wounded 21 others including two commanders at an ambush in Al-Dhale, southern Yemen earlier on Saturday, a military source said.