Photo: API
Elias Murr
Photo: API

Lebanon: We need missiles against IAF aircraft

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr says his country's army will respond if Israel violates ceasefire after IDF's withdrawal. Murr meets with his Belgian counterpart, asks to equip Lebanese army with antiaircraft missiles in order to hit Israeli aircraft

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr said that the Lebanese army was in need of antiaircraft missiles and antitank missiles in order to defend his country "against the Israeli aggressiveness."


He also asked for helicopters in order to transfer infantry corps to different areas, as well as armored vehicles, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported Monday morning.


The Lebanese minister referred to the speech delivered Friday by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who said that his organization was running out of patience in light of the Israeli violations in southern Lebanon.


"When the Israeli enemy withdraws and the Lebanese army deploys along the Blue Line, the Lebanese army will respond to any Israeli violation, using all means, that's for sure," he said.


The Lebanese defense minister met Sunday with his Belgian counterpart Andre Flahaut, along with the Belgian ambassador to Lebanon. After the meeting, the Lebanese minister discussed his country's participation in UNIFIL and the aid Belgium plans to give the Lebanese army.


The Lebanese minister said: "There are two important aspects in the relations between Lebanon and Belgium. The first is the active part Lebanon takes by participating in UNIFIL forces, while the second one is the aid Lebanon is working on providing through the European Union and rearming the Lebanese army with modern means."


'Defend southern Lebanon against Israeli enemy'

Murr defined the Lebanese army's needs so that it could carry out its missions.


"The army's basic duty is to defend southern Lebanon against the Israeli enemy. This entails two types of weapons which we will have to receive in the coming year – antiaircraft missiles in order to protect Lebanon's sky against Israeli violations, and antitank missiles in order to protect the land against the Israeli tanks.


"The Lebanese army does not possess the financial options for that, and therefore, through the government's relations and through my personal relations with defense minister in the EU and the Persian Gulf and through our friendships in the world, we are working to guarantee that this equipment is received by the Lebanese army," he said.


The Lebanese defense minister noted that his army was also in need of helicopters "in order to transfer elite commando units and other units to the places where quick interference is needed. It is well known that the helicopters the army possesses are old-fashioned and we must renew them.


"We also have to arm the brigades and battalions, and especially the elite battalions, with modern weapons and armored vehicles, so that they can help the interior security forces and provide security and stability in all areas in Lebanon. This entails a series of modern weapons which will be quickly transferred from one area to the other," Murr stated.


פרסום ראשון: 09.25.06, 09:51
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