Exceptional men required to tackle extraordinary challenges: Ibrahim

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim visiting border posts in the southern town of Naqoura on New Year's eve

Lebanon requires the efforts of “exceptional” men to maintain its stability and security, General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim said.

“This directorate (the General Security) is developing and advancing thanks to your efforts, as the country’s very extraordinary circumstances requires the efforts of exceptional men,” Ibrahim said as he visited border posts in the southern town of Naqoura on New Year’s eve.

He underlined that “the real challenge is to maintain what we (the General Security) achieved in an attempt to earn more of the people’s trust.”

Ibrahim highlighted the country’s “two main enemies: ISIS and takfiri terrorism, as well as anyone proven to be cooperating with them.”

“Those two enemies are violating the country’s security, sovereignty and [our] dignity.”

Security forces have been cracking down on extremist militants in the wake of an ISIS-claimed double suicide bombing which rocked the Beirut southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh last month, killing 47 people and wounding over 200.

The top security official added that the General Security apparatus is not “required to coexist with the challenges but face them by joining efforts with the remaining security and military agencies backed by the state and the support of the people.”

“We should alleviate the repercussions of crises wreaking havoc on us from outside the border,” he emphasized, underscoring that “positive results that benefit the nation can only be reached through local dialogue.”

He concluded by expressing hope that the nine Lebanese soldiers held by ISIS would be safely released soon.

The relatives of the nine soldiers headed in December to the northeastern border town of Arsal to meet with Mayor Ali Hujeiri in a fresh effort to push for their release.

The meeting came in light of a November swap deal that saw the release of 16 policemen and soldiers who were captured by the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front during the same August 2014 battle with the army in Arsal.

The relatives of the ISIS-held hostages have said that they have not spoken with the captives in months and have no news of their well-being.

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