BEIRUT — The Internal Security Forces (ISF) are "targeted" and there are people who "want chaos in the country," ISF chief Gen. Imad Othman was quoted as saying in an interview published Wednesday.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Othman said that the "ISF is convinced that some people want to take the organization's place and want chaos instead of stability."
Othman did not specify the identity of these people.
He added that he feels that there "is a threat to the organization," while stressing that targeting the ISF is unjustified.
However, he said that it is not easy to "end the role of this organization," which was created more than 160 years ago.
Despite that, Othman claimed the "security situation is stable."
However, he noted that problems do arise and expressed "fear that security concerns develop because of the refugee crisis," while also claiming that a lot of "crimes are linked to the Syrian presence." According to Othman, "the number of Syrian prisoners in Lebanon is close to a third of the number of all prisoners."
In late July, dayslong clashes between the Fatah Movement and Islamist factions occurred in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian camp near Saida, killing 13 people before a cease-fire was agreed upon.
The Lebanese government estimates that Lebanon currently hosts approximately 1.5 million refugees from Syria, including about 815,000 registered with the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Othman also highlighted the "consequences of politics on [the country's] security." On this topic, the newspaper does not directly quote the ISF chief, but cites unidentified "visitors" to Othman, who, the paper reports, say he is deeply dissatisfied with "some politicians' 'lightness' in dealing with the security issue and their lack of effort to avoid the 'red lines' as long as the matter benefits them."
On Aug. 9, two people were killed in an exchange of fire between Hezbollah members and residents of the majority-Christian village of Kahaleh after a truck belonging to Hezbollah overturned in the area. Hezbollah said in a later statement that the truck contained munitions.
On Aug. 2, Former Lebanese Forces (LF) coordinator Elias al-Hasrouni went missing in Ain Ibl, Bint Jbeil. On Aug. 9, police announced that he was found dead and opened an investigation. Five days later, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea pointed blame at Hezbollah for the incident.