Leb army deploys troops in North along Syria border
The Lebanese Army deployed troops in two villages Wednesday along the Nahr al-Kabir river, which separates Syria from Lebanon in the North. The national news agency reported on Friday that more troops will be deployed along the river on Saturday. Foreign Minister, Fawzi Salloukh told The Daily Star that "these measures were taken to prevent the illegal entry of foreigners into Lebanese territory," Salloukh refused to comment any further.

This step comes a week after the army had erected permanent military points and closed all illegal crossings along the mountain passageways linking Syria to Lebanon in the Upper Hermel. Elias Hanna, a researcher on military affairs, told The Daily Star that a military decision at this level was "very important" and must have been preceded by a political decision. Hanna said that deploying the army would help in preventing the illegal entry of individuals as well as the flow of weapons, but stressed that it was more important to control weapons already present in Lebanese territories.

According to Hanna, deploying the army would allow the army to gather "good intelligence" information about the flow of arms and individuals across the borders with Syria. But he added that coordination between the army and the Internal Security Forces was vital to guarantee the success of the army in deterring that flow.
Posted by: Fred 2006-03-12