Lebanon army operation in Tripoli draws al-Nusra threat
Iran Press TV
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:16AM GMT
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front militants have threatened Lebanon's army following its launch of a major operation against terrorist activities in the flashpoint city of Tripoli.
The Takfiri militants threatened in a statement issued on Sunday that they will execute Lebanese soldiers they kidnapped in the northeastern border town of Arsal if the army continues the operation in Tripoli.
"We warn the army against carrying out its military escalation against our … brothers in Tripoli," the statement said, adding, "We demand that it end its siege of them and launch a peaceful solution" to the situation there.
"We will otherwise be forced within the next few hours to end the file of the captives and consider them as prisoners of war," the terrorist group warned, saying, "The first execution of one of the captives will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday."
The Lebanese army has deployed its units to the crisis-hit neighborhoods of the city, following heavy clashes with militants in the area.
The army has said it will push ahead with its operation "until the gunmen are eradicated and all armed appearances are prevented in Tripoli."
Tensions have soared in Lebanon since August, when the army fought deadly clashes with the al-Nusra Front in Arsal.
The Takfiri terrorists have abducted more than three dozen soldiers and security forces over the past few months. They have executed at least three of the hostages.
The Takfiris say Beirut must release fellow militants held in Lebanese jails in exchange for the captive soldiers.
Over the past months, Lebanon has been suffering from terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda-affiliated militants as well as random rocket attacks, which are viewed as a spillover of the conflict in Syria.
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