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MASHNOUQ: ARMY OPERATION IN ARSAL OF SHEER SECURITY NATURE

Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Nohad Mashnouq, on Tuesday maintained that the events of the fresh operation carried out by the Lebanese military against terrorists in Syrians'' encampments in Arsal was of "a sheer security nature."

"I am keen on the dignity and safety of the displaced Syrians. But today, it is a military zone that we are talking about and not just a normal apprehension," Mashnouq told al-Hadath TV.

"During the raids, five takfiri terrorists blew themselves up; the operation must then certainly become of a sheer security nature," he explained.

"What happened in that region must not be summarized by an image of arrested individuals laying down on the floor, while forgetting that five terrorists had blown themselves up and wounded a number of displaced Syrians and soldiers," he said.

"The mission of the security and military forces is to prevent any terrorist from leaving Arsal, or any other region, to carry out an operation that would kill many Lebanese and non-Lebanese," he underlined.

Moreover, Mashnouq denied any role by Hezbollah in Arsal operation, adding that the army was solely responsible for the region.

"Hezbollah is not in Arsal," he corroborated.

On the return of Syrians to their country, Mashnouq maintained that the Lebanese government would not bring any Syrian back to Syria without international guarantees.

"The United Nations is alone entitled to determine the areas to which the displaced can return to," he concluded.

Source: National News Agency