Beirut, Aug 2 (IANS) Lebanon has vowed to defeat terrorism as the country marked the Army Day after a two-year absence of the celebration due to the presidential vacuum.
President Michel Aoun stressed on the occasion on Tuesday 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”, Xinhua news agency reported.
Celebrations were held 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.”
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 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.