President Michel Suleiman assured on Sunday that the army is “fully authorized” to strike the attackers in the latest clashes between the gunmen of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir and the army’s forces in the southern city of Sidon. “The military institution is granted the full authorization to hit the attackers and arrest the perpetrators and the instigators and bring them to justice,” Suleiman said on Twitter.


He explained: “This is in order to preserve the security of the Lebanese and the dignity and image of the army.” In a released statement, the president also slammed calls for troops to defect from their units. [Link]