BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said Friday it has launched the Cabinet’s plan to deploy the military to the north of the country and warned that it would respond in kind if fired upon.
“Pursuant to the Cabinet’s decision of July 9, 2012, the army embarked on bolstering its presence in the north, beginning with Tripoli and its neighborhoods, up to the northern and eastern borders.
“The operation will continue in the next couple of days with the deployment of new units alongside those military units and the Joint Task Force already present in these areas,” the army said in a statement.
The government approved a plan Monday to boost the presence of the Lebanese Army along the northern and eastern border with Syria. The government’s decision came after Syrian shelling killed two Lebanese in the northern Wadi Khaled border region and in light of repeated Syrian incursions into Lebanese territory.
In its statement, the military said it had issued clear instructions to counter any violations.
“All army units tasked with implementing the mission have received firm and detailed directives to protect citizens from any attack, to crack down on the carrying of arms, and to prevent infiltration and smuggling on the Syria-Lebanon border. [This includes] a swift response to fire from wherever it may originate,” the statement said.
The army expressed its full confidence that residents of the border areas would be receptive to the new measures and urged them to cooperate with the army so that it might thwart any attempt to destabilize the security situation.