The Lebanese Army Commander in chief offers condolences for the martyred soldiers in Labweh, Taalabaya, and Ablah, and visits the 6th Infantry Brigade and the Beqaa directorate of Intelligence
The Lebanese Army Commander in Chief, General Joseph Aoun, offered his condolences in Labweh and Taalabaya to the soldiers who were martyred during raids of wanted individuals in Hortaala on 16/02/2023. The martyrs, first adjutant Hassan Sharif, Sergeant Paul Jurdi, and Sergeant George Abu Chaya, showed the utmost care for the lives of the innocent and were martyred for the noble goal of protecting the Lebanese people from the danger of drugs.
He pointed out that their murder will not discourage the army from performing its duty, but rather will motivate it in its war on drugs, based on its responsibility towards the people of the Beqaa Valley in particular, to hold criminals according to the law and not take revenge on them.
He addressed the families of the martyrs, and said: "The fate of the military is the sacrifice that lies at the heart of its slogan. Everyone who joins its ranks is a martyr's project, knowing that the army command is making every effort to protect the soldiers. Our martyrs do not die, but live in our conscience.”
General Aoun visited the command of the Sixth Infantry Brigade in Baalbek and the Beqaa intelligence directorate in Ablah, where he met the officers and soldiers and congratulated them on the achievements they are making in maintaining security and pursuing drug traffickers, whether through operational missions or security follow-up of wanted individuals leading to their arrest.
He stressed that the security in Beqaa is mainly due to the sacrifices of the Sixth Brigade and the Beqaa directorate of Intelligence, which provides a safe life away from drug gangs, robbery, and kidnapping for the residents of the region.
He then addressed the soldiers: "My heart grows with every visit. I am standing in front of strong men who sacrifice for the sake of their families, their people, and their country. The resilience of the citizens is only possible thanks to your sacrifices and achievements. For those who ask how the army maintains its strength, I say that the answer is in the toughness and vigor of the soldiers’ and as long as the institution has heroes like you, there no fear shall be upon Lebanon’’
Regarding drugs, he said: “Drugs are more dangerous than terrorism because as it enters every home and disintegrates families and society. Therefore, combatting it is a sacred mission, and we will not hesitate to fight it even if we lose martyrs, as their blood will not be wasted and will only increase our determination to pursue criminals. Our problem is not with the clansmen or the region, but with the outlaws and the perpetrators of theft, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. They have two options: either turn themselves in to have their situation monitored in accordance with the law, or bear the consequences of their actions.”
He added, "Some are betting on weakening the army. I am here to tell them that it is stronger than before, and we have thousands of volunteer requests, in addition to the return of a large number of deserters. Whoever stands in front of the heroic soldiers is reassured that our institution is well and remains a watchful eye on all Lebanese lands despite the severity of the crisis, continuously carrying out its duties of arresting those who violate security, combating terrorism, controlling borders, and preventing smuggling and illegal immigration from the barrens to the sea and from the far north to the far South"
Then he pointed to the army's protection of the southern border: "I congratulate the military units personnel in the south for confronting the violations of the Israeli enemy in Ayta al-Shaab and previously, Marjayoun, where they stood in the face of the enemy's tanks, armed with the power of truth and faith in their land and the sanctity of the mission."
Regarding the situation of the military institution, he said: "While the army makes great sacrifices and assumes its responsibilities with professionalism despite the challenges, some haters and concerned and unconcerned officials continue to invent rumors, fabricate files, distort the image of the institution, and accuse us of corruption and breaking the law. And if breaking the law allows me to accept donations from the Lebanese who love the institution in Lebanon and abroad, and ensure medicine, nutrition, and transportation for the soldiers, and hospitalization and school aid for their families, and help them withstand the living difficulties, and carry out their missions, then I will break the law.
Their concern is of personal interest, and yours is that of the homeland, the protection of civil peace, and the defense of your oath. You pursue the interest of the country and they pursue their own. The army is coherent and strong. We will not care about your accusations, and you will not disturb the execution of our mission, which is more honorable and sacred than your accusations. Mind your own business and let us mind ours. The army shall remain stronger than your files and rumors. You should exert your efforts to help and support the military institution rather than targeting it. May God help the army to fight stupidity, expensive prices, epidemics, and lack of modesty and loyalty. May God protect the army and its soldiers."