Lebanese army soldiers patrol after a clash in the northern port city of Tripoli. AP photo
Lebanon began sending troop reinforcements yesterday to the border with Syria after deadly attacks in the region, an army spokesman told Agence France-Presse. “Yes, we have started to reinforce our troops, and the operation will take us a week to 10 days to complete,” the spokesman said on condition of anonymity.
The Cabinet decided July 9 evening to dispatch army reinforcements to the border area in the north, after a series of frontier incidents in recent months, some of them deadly. Syrian troops and armed men traded gunfire overnight in the border area and shells fell inside Lebanon, wounding civilians, the army said earlier.
The official Syrian news agency SANA confirmed the violence and said yesterday that troops foiled attempts by “armed terrorist groups” to infiltrate the border from Lebanon during the night. The latest incident took place two days after clashes and blasts killed two people in the area.
France condemned Syrian shelling of areas of northern Lebanon and said it backed Lebanese plans to boost its military presence along the border. “We support the decision of the Lebanese cabinet to strengthen the presence of the Lebanese armed forces at the border, to guarantee the security of Lebanon’s territory and its people,” French
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.