Lebanese Army Chief: No Illegal Crossings on the Border

Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 - 11:15
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon’s Army Chief General Joseph Aoun has said that the crossings on the Lebanese border with Syria are in better condition than they were years ago.

“There are no illegal crossings, but some loopholes that need to be shut," he said on Tuesday.

Aoun's remarks came during a joint tactical exercise carried out by the 1st Land Border Regiment in al-Arida border area of Akkar. Units from the General Directorate of General Security, the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, Lebanese Red Cross, and the General Directorate of Civil Defense participated in the drill. 

The exercise simulates thwarting the infiltration of terrorist groups that carried out a suicide bombing at Arida crossing point.

Aoun praised the performance of the soldiers who participated in the exercise, noting that the drill comes in line with the integrated strategy for border management, which is expected to be approved by the government so that it comes into force.

The army and the rest of the security forces prepare to implement the strategy through joint training and exercises, said Aoun.

He indicated that the drill revealed professionalism in coordination between the army and various security apparatuses during a terrorist attack, which takes place for the first time at the border.

This asserts that security of border crossings are “the responsibility of all the security forces, not just the army,” according to the General.

He addressed the units saying that the crossings are in better condition now thanks to their efforts in maintaining security and control of the border. He added that there are no illegal crossings, but some gaps that needed to be closed.

The army commander stressed the importance of the border regiments, pointing out that the leadership provides them with all the equipment and training to facilitate their task in controlling the border and prevent smuggling, which is a top priority.

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