Hundreds of Syrian troops leave Lebanon as Powell consider redeployment as ''positive step''
Some 300 Syrian troops in a convoy of trucks and armored vehicles crossed the Lebanese border into Syria early Thursday as part of the ongoing redeployment that started on Tuesday.
"In all, some 3,000 Syrian soldiers will eventually return to Syria in the next few days as part of the redeployment plan," a senior Lebanese military official told The Associated Press.
He said the convoy traveled along the mountain highway between Beirut and Damascus in the dark hours of Thursday morning and crossed the border. The redeployment is expected to be completed within four days.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Colin Powell praised Syria for dismantling military camps in the hills above Beirut, calling it a "positive step." He spoke after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shaara at the United Nations in New York.
For their part, Lebanese Christian opposition groups have criticized this week's redeployment as insufficient and urged Syria comply with the U.N. demands for a complete withdrawal from Lebanon. (albawaba.com)
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