The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Orientation Directorate issued on Saturday the following statement: “Following the initial statement concerning an army task force carrying out a raid on the town of Arsal, and arresting ten dangerous terrorists, the Command clarifies that during the raid, the task force was attacked by terrorist gunfire, and retaliated in the same fashion, killing the Emir of ISIS terrorist organization in the Qalamoun region, Syrian national Hassan Mleiss. The latter had taken part, along an armed group, in attacking centers for the LAF and invading an ISF building, kidnapping servicemen in the town of Arsal on August 2, 2014.
The activity of the Italian soldiers engaged in the UNIFIL mission continues both in terms of cooperation with the local armed forces, than of support to the population. In these last days the General Staffs of the UNIFIL Sector West, based Taurinense Alpine Brigade, met the 5th Brigade of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the military base of Shama.
An important meeting, aimed at increasing integration and joint activities between the two Chiefs by planning common trainings. At the same time, the initiatives in favour of the local population carry on: in late November, Lebanese Red Cross of Tiro has received materials for hospital and healthcare, offered by donors from Novara and delivered by the soldiers of ITALBATT, the maneuver unit of the UNIFIL Italian contingent, currently based Nizza Cavalry Regiment.
“The donation was made possible thanks to the solidarity and cooperation shown by the Hospital “Maggiore della Carità”, by the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, by the “National Alpine Association – Novara section” and by the Oleggio Red Cross, important organizations who wanted to support actively the initiatives promoted for Lebanon by Nizza Regiment, ” as Colonel Massimiliano Quarto, commander of Italbatt, declared during the ceremony. The equipment – which includes 14 inpatient beds with mattresses and fireproof pillows, 1 stair lift and 1 multipurpose chair for disabled, 5 wheelchairs, and numerous boxes of disposables from surgery – will be used by the Red Cross for the normal activities of the hospital, and for subsequent distribution at home for chronic patients followed by the voluntary organization.
Transfer of authority for ITALBATT in Lebanon. The handover between the Italian task force engaged in activities to support the local population and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), in compliance with the Resolution 1701 of the United Nations, has occurred today in the military base of Al Mansouri.
The Commander of the Regiment “Nizza Cavalry”, Colonel Massimiliano Quarto, takes over the Commander of the Regiment “Genova Cavalry”, Colonel Giovanni Biondi. Since last April 21 2015, the transferor task force carried on many activities, including: 8.000 patrols to ensure the safety of the country, 400 operations conducted in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), to assist them in achieving the full operational capability in the south area of Litani River.
Through the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC), they also realized many projects in support of civilians in the 22 municipalities included in the ITALBATT intervention zone. All this, accordino to the framework assigned to the contingents by the UN: monitoring the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel, supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and supporting local, joining interforce training exercises, aimed at comparing and standardizing procedures in the context of military operations in Lebanon, as well as the consolidation of a necessary cohesion between the armed forces of the 39 countries that currently represent the multicultural environment of UNIFIL mission.
The next session of activities, concentrated in the border area between Israel and Lebanon, the so-called “blue line”, and in the coastal area south of Tyre, is now entrusted to staff Taurinense Alpine Brigade Regiment “Nizza Cavalry”, strenghtened by the “Alpini L’Aquila” Battalion.