Syria rejects call for border monitors


Richard Moore

    "SYRIA has rejected Israeli demands that international
     troops be deployed on the Syrian-Lebanese border..."

As usual, Israel enters into negotiation, and once a deal is made it 
then violates the deal and begins making additional demands. That's 
been one of the unifying themes in the history of the state of Israel.


Original source URL:

Syria rejects call for border monitors
Jonathan Pearlman in Jerusalem and agencies
August 24, 2006

SYRIA has rejected Israeli demands that international troops be 
deployed on the Syrian-Lebanese border, in a further setback to 
United Nations efforts to end Israel's blockade of Lebanon and 
enforce the truce.

Israel has accused Syria of smuggling arms across the border to 
Hezbollah and says it will not lift its sea and air blockade until 
UN-led forces patrol the border. The UN says Lebanese officials have 
also indicated they want assistance in monitoring the crossings.

But Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad, told Dubai television that 
the deployment of UN troops on the border would be a "withdrawal of 
Lebanese sovereignty and a hostile act".

Syria could not prevent the deployment but its opposition might 
hamper efforts to persuade Lebanon to agree to stationing foreign 
troops on its border.

The UN is trying to assemble a 15,000-member peacekeeping force to 
help the Lebanese Army to monitor the truce. European diplomats hope 
that a meeting of European Union foreign ministers tomorrow will 
result in a commitment of 9000 troops.

Italy has announced it will send up to 3000 soldiers and was 
yesterday urging fellow European countries to join. The Italian 
Government agreed to lead the force after France, which helped to 
broker the ceasefire, pulled back from an initial commitment to send 
thousands of troops.

The UN this week circulated draft rules of engagement after several 
countries reportedly indicated they would not commit troops because 
the guidelines for the force were unclear.

The 21 pages of rules say soldiers can shoot to defend themselves, to 
protect civilians and to resist armed attempts to interfere with 
their duties.

The rules do not require the forces to conduct large-scale 
disarmament of Hezbollah but allow "deadly force" to be used to 
prevent imminent threats to civilians or defend Lebanese soldiers 
against armed militants.

The UN is planning to deploy an additional force of 3500 soldiers by 
September 2 and up to 15,000 by November.

Amnesty International says Israel deliberately targeted civilians 
during its campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and may be 
guilty of war crimes.

An Amnesty report says Israel purposely attacked food shops, blocked 
aid convoys and stopped water and electricity supplies to force 
people to flee.

Israel says it did not target civilians but warned non-combatants to 
leave because Hezbollah was firing rockets from civilian areas.

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