Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has described Thursday’s deadly clashes in the Tayyouneh-Ain al-Remmaneh-Shiyyah area an an attempt by Hizbullah to stage a “mini” May 7-like armed campaign against “Christians” with the objective of halting the probe into the Beirut port blast.
Asked whether he takes credit for “foiling a new May 7,” the LF leader said: “No, it wasn’t Samir Geagea who foiled the new May 7 but rather the alive people present in Ain al-Remmaneh.”
“It is true that we are present on the ground, seeing as we are present in all regions and we’re not absent from any issue… but the claims about a military structure are totally baseless and the Lebanese Army is the only party that knows the facts as they are,” Geagea added in an interview with the journalist Walid Abboud via Sawt Beirut International.
“The claims about a supply route and paramilitary deployment are completely unfounded and the presence there was the natural presence of the young men in their neighborhoods. As for the talk about snipers, the army has arrested snipers, let it say who they are and where they came from,” the LF leader said.
Dismissing accusations by Hizbullah and Amal Movement that what happened was “an ambush against a protest,” Geagea stressed that this is also untrue and that it wasn’t the LF who “defended the area” but rather “all of Ain al-Remmaneh’s residents.”
“Before any shot was fired, four people from Ain al-Remmaneh had already been wounded, also before anyone from the other side was killed or wounded,” Geagea added, voicing sorrow over the Hizbullah and Amal supporters who were killed and wounded while blaming “their leaderships who dragged them into that position.”
The LF leader also decried that the army’s Intelligence Directorate is summoning people from Ain al-Remmaneh for interrogation. “They were sitting in their homes and neighborhood. It is fine, summon them, but you should have summoned those who came to attack them,” he said.
Told that al-Manar TV has claimed that “the LF snipers are known by names,” Geagea said: “This is untrue. Let them hand over the alleged names to the Lebanese Army.”
Asked whether he and the LF are “prepared for war,” Geagea said: “No, but if someone wants to attack us, we will always do this. However, this is something and having an armed organization is something else. But let no one think that we will die with open eyes; they will be very mistaken.”
“This is not a declaration of war, but our dignity is very dear to us and we do not accept to be attacked by anyone, period,” Geagea added.