Lebanon arrests Daesh militant who beheaded soldier
A member of Daesh Takfiri group, who beheaded a kidnapped Lebanese soldier, has been arrested, Lebanon’s security directorate said.
The security body said on Monday that a Syrian national was arrested in Lebanon for being a member of a terrorist organization.
“After interrogation, he confessed to being a member of the terrorist group Daesh … and to beheading the martyred soldier Abbas Medlej,” it added.
Medlej was kidnapped along with some 29 other troops and policemen during clashes with Daesh and al-Qaede-linked al-Nusra Front militants in the town of Arsal near the Syrian border in August 2014.
Five of the kidnapped forces were executed. Last December, al-Nusra Front militant group released 16 of them after numerous rounds of negotiations. The remaining nine are still being held in Daesh jails.
The security directorate also said that the detained Daesh militant also confessed to killing a police officer during the clashes.
“He was recently involved in surveillance of Lebanese army checkpoints in Arsal, as a prelude to a new attack aimed at kidnapping soldiers,” the body added.
Lebanon has been suffering from terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants as well as random rocket attacks, which are viewed as a spillover of the conflict in Syria.
Al-Nusra Front and Daesh militants overran the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal in August 2014, killing a number of Lebanese forces. The Takfiri elements later withdrew from the area under their control, but took with them 30 hostages from the Lebanese army and police.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.