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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2004, 15:17 GMT
More Syria troops move in Lebanon
Syrian soldiers guard a radar station in the Bekaa Valley
Syrian troops have been in Lebanon for 28 years
Syria has withdrawn some of its troops from three key positions in Lebanon, according to Lebanese officials.

They say Syrian soldiers have left the northern town of Batrun, as well as Beirut's southern suburbs and airport.

Damascus is being pressed to pull its remaining 14,000 or so troops out of Lebanon, where there has been a Syrian military presence since the 1970s.

This is the second Syrian redeployment since the UN called for foreign troops to quit Lebanon in September.

The UN Security Council resolution - sponsored by France and the US - did not mention Syria by name, but it is the only foreign country with troops stationed in Lebanon.

Some 3,000 Syrian troops later withdrew. The UN said this was not enough.

In the latest redeployment soldiers were moved to the Bekaa Valley, close to the Syrian-Lebanese border, a Lebanese security official told Reuters news agency.

Both governments say the Syrian military presence in Lebanon has ensured stability since the end of the civil war in 1990.

But Lebanese opposition groups have defended the UN resolution, saying it is the only way to end Syrian dominance of the country.

Syria first sent soldiers into Lebanon in 1976, at the start of the civil war.




FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Lebanon Daily Star Syrian intel evacuates offices in Lebanon - 5 hrs ago
Haaretz News in Brief - 33 hrs ago
Herald Tribune Syria Troops Vacate 3 Centers in Lebanon - 38 hrs ago
Jerusalem Post Syrian troops to redeploy in parts of Lebanon - 45 hrs ago
Reuters Syria Redeploys Some Security Forces in Lebanon - 47 hrs ago
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SEE ALSO:
Lebanese groups unite over Syria
13 Dec 04 |  Middle East
UN urges Syria to leave Lebanon
19 Oct 04 |  Middle East
US tells Syria to leave Lebanon
11 Sep 04 |  Middle East
Syria feels squeeze over Lebanon
05 Sep 04 |  Middle East
Country profile: Lebanon
09 Jul 04 |  Country profiles


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