Joseph Aoun, Lebanon’s newly-appointed military chief, said Friday that the Lebanese army must remain on guard against “Israeli ambitions and schemes” in the region.
Addressing army officers in Beirut, Aoun cited perceived threats to Southern Lebanon.
“I have full confidence that you will… be prepared to protect our southern border from the Israeli enemy’s sabotage,” he asserted.
Aoun also stressed Lebanon’s readiness to cooperate with the international community with a view to applying UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was adopted following Lebanon’s 2006 conflict with Israel.
Resolution 1701 called on Israel to withdraw its forces from Southern Lebanon to allow the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the border between the two countries.
Aoun also said that the Lebanese military would continue to work for the release of nine Lebanese soldiers captured by the Daesh terrorist group three years ago.
In mid-2014, Daesh militants captured several Lebanese military personnel following clashes in the Lebanese town of Arsal on the Syrian border.
Aoun was made commander of Lebanon’s armed forces on Wednesday after being promoted to the rank of general.
Replacing General Jean Kahwaji at the post, Aoun is known to be close to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, although the two are not related.
Before assuming the post, Aoun had commanded the Lebanese Army’s 9th Brigade, which is deployed on Lebanon’s border with Syria.