World\Middle East

Lebanon vows to defeat terrorism

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-02 09:57

Lebanon vows to defeat terrorism

File photo shows Lebanese President Michel Aoun hands out a sword to a Lebanese officer cadet during his graduation parade at a military academy marking the 72nd Army Day in Fayadyeh, near Beirut, August 1, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIRUT - Lebanon vowed to defeat terrorism as the country marked Tuesday the Army Day after a two-year absence of the celebration due to the presidential vacuum.

President Michel Aoun stressed on the occasion that "we are now waiting for our armed forces to achieve a new victory and liberate what remains of the regions that have been violated for years by terrorists."

Celebrations kicked off at the Lebanese Army Military Academy in Fayadieh under the chairmanship of President Aoun and in the presence of House Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and other political and military figures.

Aoun addressed the graduates, encouraging them to be the protectors of this country's sovereignty and independence.

"Your graduation coincides with major challenges that the military and security institutions are facing in fighting the dangers of terrorism and aggression against Lebanon," he added.

He also mentioned soldiers who were kidnapped in 2014, with their fate still unknown, saying that works to combat terrorism could accelerate the disclosure of their whereabouts, and ease "the pain that has been inflicted on their families, their institution and all the Lebanese people."

A Lebanese warplane struck the Islamic State group (IS) posts Monday in the outskirts of Ras Baalbeck, resulting in injuries among the militants, local TV stations reported.

The strikes came after a battle between Hezbollah and the al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front that ended with a cease-fire agreement Thursday.

Since then, the Lebanese army has reinforced areas around Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa near the IS-held Lebanese territory, warning that they would soon launch an offensive to push the militant group out of the country.

In remarks addressed to troops on Monday, the eve of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the army, Army Commander Joseph Aoun praised the courage of his men.

He called for remembrance of the hero soldiers who were injured, martyred or abducted by terrorist organizations," saying that terrorism remains the same "whether its aggression are launched from the southern border or the eastern border."

He underlined the importance of continuing to firmly target militants, in order to frustrate their attempts to escape towards villages or refugee camps with the aim of using civilians as human shields.

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