Must Decisively and Permanently Deal with Nahr El-Bared Camp, Once and for All.
By: Elias Bejjani
LCCC Chairman

In my capacity as the Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC) chairman, I strongly denounces the criminal attack against the Lebanese Army and Security Forces in North Lebanon yesterday and today by gunmen of the “Fatah  al-Islam” group which is affiliated – in decision-making and in weapons – with the Syrian Intelligence Services.

The rulers in Damascus had brought in its mercenary fighters several months ago to the Palestinian Camps in Lebanon with the objective of stirring strife, creating an anarchy situation, obstructing the creation of the International Tribunal and, most importantly, prevent the rise of a strong self-reliant Lebanese State and institutions that would spread its control over every inch of Lebanese soil and disarm the militias and impose the rule of law.

It is worth mentioning in this context that the Syrian intelligence militia camouflaged under the name of  “Fatah  al-Islam” was behind the bus bombing crime in the town of Ain Alaq in the North Meten Lebanese region that killed innocent Lebanese civilians this past February.

The LCCC holds the Syrian regime and the Lebanese opposition in all its factions fully responsible for the bloody clashes and demands the Lebanese and
international judiciary prosecute its leadership for the attacks it has committed on the legitimacy of the Lebanese State, obstructing the operation of its constitutional institutions, creating a state of security anarchy, undermining the Lebanese economy and impoverishing the Lebanese people and pushing them to emigrate.

We urge the Army Command and the Lebanese government to deal decisively and with military means with the situation in the Nahr El-Bared Camp once and for all
because not doing so will weaken the army and give the Lebanese opposition and those behind them in the Syrian regime a new impetus to repeat what happened
several times in the past.

We commend the Lebanese army’s rank and file and reiterate our full confidence in them. We unreservedly support their patriotic mission of the nation’s salvation, and we demand the Lebanese government to take a decisive and immediate resolution to control the Lebanese-Syrian borders and seek the assistance of the international forces to carry out this mission.

 We also demand the Lebanese Sate and its legitimate security forces to put a complete end to all illegal illegitimate militia weapons both inside and outside the Palestinian camps, and in all the self-styled security zones in which Hezbollah has erected its mini-State.

We offer our sincere condolences to the members of the Lebanese Armed Forces and Security Forces who gave their lives yesterday and today defending the nation and protecting its people, their freedom and their identity. We ask God to grant their families the grace of patience and reliance on the Almighty, and to the
martyrs eternal life in God’s heavenly paradise.

May 20/07

*Elias Bejjani
Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

LCCC Web Site
CLHRF Website

Lebanon army battles militants in north, 11 killed

May 20, 2007
(Reuters) - Lebanese troops battled al Qaeda-linked militants in northern Lebanon on Sunday and at least 11 people were killed, seven of them soldiers, security sources said. They said the fighting broke out between the Lebanese army and members of the Fatah al-Islam militant group after security forces raided homes in Tripoli to arrest suspects accused of robbing a bank in the city a day earlier. Smoke rises from the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon.
Three soldiers were killed in the clashes at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp. The militants also attacked an army patrol in the Koura region of northern Lebanon, killing four soldiers, a senior security official said. Four Fatah al-Islam fighters had been killed in the camp, which is home to 40,000 Palestinian refugees and near Tripoli. The army had tightened its grip around Nahr al-Bared camp since authorities charged Fatah al-Islam members with twin bus bombings in a Christian area near Beirut in February. Three civilians were killed by the bombs. The Lebanese government has accused Fatah al-Islam, a Palestinian-led group that broke away from the Syrian-backed Fatah al-Intifada last year of being linked to the Syrian government. Syria denied the charge. Cabinet minister Ahmad Fatfat, speaking in Tripoli, linked the violence to what he said were efforts to derail U.N. moves to set up an international tribunal for suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. A U.N. probe has implicated Syria and Lebanese officials in the Hariri killing. Damascus denies any involvement.
"There is someone trying to create security chaos to say to world public opinion: 'Look, if the tribunal is established, there will be security trouble in Lebanon,'" Fatfat told Lebanon's pro-government Future TV. The United States, France and Britain last week circulated a draft U.N. resolution that would unilaterally set up the court.