Jumblat Rejects Self-Security, Inquires about U.S. Campaign against Jihadists


Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has rejected the so-called self-security, reiterating his warning from the rise of terrorist threats in Lebanon and inquiring the U.S. about planned airstrikes against jihadists in the region.

“Self-security leads to total chaos,” Jumblat warned in remarks published in As Safir newspaper on Friday amid reports that certain Lebanese factions were arming themselves to confront terrorists.

Despite his rejection of such phenomena, Jumblat stressed that the threat of the Islamic State terrorist group should not be taken for granted.

“If this organization has been capable to link (the northern district of) Akkar with (the northeastern border town of) Arsal as it was planning to do so, then we would have faced a big problem,” he said.

The PSP chief, who also heads a parliamentary bloc, called for full support to the Lebanese army and urged politicians to “provide it with political protection.”

He said the military is “the beacon of hope amid the darkness” that Lebanon is facing.

Jumblat urged talks between Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri.

He said the rival leaders “are capable of creating a relative security network in Lebanon.”

Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan pledged during a meeting held in Jeddah on Thursday to stand against terrorism.

The 10 Mideast allies announced their backing for a strategy to “destroy” the IS “wherever it is, including in both Iraq and Syria,” following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The group controls thousands of square kilometers of territory in Iraq and Syria. It has also engaged in deadly clashes with the Lebanese army in Arsal before pulling back to the Syrian side of the border.

The members of the group beheaded two Lebanese soldiers who were taken captive along with several others from the army and security forces.

Al-Akhbar daily said Friday that Jumblat met with U.S. Ambassador David Hale away from the media spotlight to inquire him about a more aggressive American campaign against the IS.

Obama has vowed to expand an offensive against the extremists, a plan which foresees new air strikes against IS in Syria, expanded attacks in Iraq and new support for Iraqi government forces.

Al-Akhbar said that Jumblat and Hale also discussed Lebanon’s presidential impasse.

The country has been without a president since May over differences between the rival parliamentary blocs on a compromise candidate.


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