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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lebanese Army Heads South

The Lebanese army has finally started deploying in south Lebanon,Reuters among many others sources, are reporting.

A column of more than 100 trucks, troop carriers and jeeps, flying red-and-white Lebanese flags, streamed through a makeshift bridge on the Litani to the town of Marjayoun. Some vehicles towed artillery pieces, others carried troops and equipment...
..."We are very happy. How can anyone deploy in his own land and not be happy," said a soldier who did not give his name.

That is all great, but what remains a cause for concern is that
...while the army will not allow the presence of any armed group, the cabinet decision did not mention any withdrawal of Hizbollah's fighters or the rockets they rained on northern Israel during the conflict.

Meanwhile progress is slow with assembling the new and improved UNIFIL force as the BBC reports.
Unifil is already under French command and Ms Alliot-Marie (defense minister) confirmed that France would continue to lead it once it grew in strength. But she refused to be drawn on the number of French troops that would be sent.
"Today, it's not 'How many troops and when?', it's 'To do what and how?'" she said on French TV. She added that only once a clear mandate had been established would it be clear which other countries would join the larger force.
So thats about it, the army is heading south, we are waiting for the UNIFIL troops, as well as the Israelis to withdraw. Meanwhile, we don't know what the deal is on the weapons south of the Litani. Ain't it grand being a citizen of Lebanon?

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