Lebanese troops resume offensive against militants in Tripoli

Lebanese troops resume offensive against militants in Tripoli
Lebanese army soldiers sit on their military vehicle as people go about their day in the al-Tabbaneh district of Tripoli, northern Lebanon, on February 5, 2018. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)
Updated 05 February 2018

Lebanese troops resume offensive against militants in Tripoli

Lebanese troops resume offensive against militants in Tripoli

BEIRUT: The Lebanese army resumed an offensive on Monday in the neighborhood of Bab Al-Tabbaneh, where clashes took place on Sunday between the army and militants.

The neighborhood’s residents were able to reach their houses in safety.

“One soldier was martyred and several others were wounded,” an army statement said, “when an army force raided a group of wanted militants to arrest them and the militants used gunfire and hand grenades against the soldiers.”

The army brought reinforcements to Al-Hamwi Street, where the shooter, Hajjar Al-Abdullah — known as Hajjar Al-Dandashi, was cornered, shot and eventually killed.

Al-Dandashi’s brother, Bilal, was arrested by the army, and all weapons, ammunition and money were seized.

Army engineers on Monday detonated two bombs found in the area after the clashes.

Security sources told Arab News that Al-Dandashi was reportedly fighting with Daesh in Syria.

“The Lebanese security services monitored and tracked the militant as soon as he arrived in Tripoli from Syria,” the sources said.

Grand Mufti of Tripoli and the North Malik Al-Chaar told Arab News: “What happened in Bab Al-Tabbaneh is independent from previous incidents.”

“The Lebanese army has been monitoring several wanted militants and managed to track them on their way to Bab Al-Tabbaneh,” he said.

MP Samir Al-Jisr believes “what happened in Tripoli is proof that the city is not an incubator for terrorism of any kind and will never be so, and that the people of Tripoli will never give up the stability with which they were blessed after long years.”

“What happened also confirms that the only legitimate armed forces in Lebanon are the Lebanese army and the security forces, and only these are capable of protecting Lebanon and its stability,” he said.

After the funeral of the soldier who was martyred during the clashes, MP Khaled Zahraman stressed “the importance of standing in solidarity with the Lebanese army, and that Akkar is always ready to sacrifice for the sake of Lebanon.”