In a rare statement released Friday, the Lebanese Army warned Lebanese citizens of involvement in the civil war raging in neighboring Syria, cautioning of “plots” to drag the country back to civil war.
“Some groups appear determined to stoke security tensions … against the backdrop of political divisions in Lebanon over military developments in Syria,” the statement said.
“The Lebanese Army, as much as it’s going to be resolute in its security measures, urges citizens to be aware of the plots aimed at taking Lebanon back and dragging it into a futile war,” read a statement by the army, translated by the Daily Star. “Do not be dragged behind groups that want to use violence as a means to achieve their objectives.”
In recent months, Lebanon has seen fierce clashes on its own soil, especially in the northern port city of Tripoli, between supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad and supporters of rebels attempting to topple him, as well as between Shi’ites and Sunnis.
The fighting in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, has threatened to rouse sectarian tensions and plunge the country into further chaos.
In the last few years, Lebanon has been slowly resurfacing from decades of civil war, communal strife and political violence.
Fearing that the country would descend once again into anarchy, the military instructed citizens to express their views regarding the war in Syria “democratically and peacefully and without provoking anyone.”
The military vowed to take firm action against anyone who tries to tamper with the country’s security, saying “the use of weapons will be met with weapons.”