Syria reopens two border crossings with northern Lebanon
Syria on Monday reopened two border crossings with northern Lebanon that were closed in May over alleged security concerns, witnesses and Lebanon's state-run news agency said.
The Abboudieh-Dabboussieh border crossings near the northern port city of Tripoli were temporarily closed soon after fighting between al-Qaeda-inspired activists and the Lebanese army erupted on May 20 at a nearby Palestinian refugee camp.
Syria said at the time that the closure was "to preserve the security" of Syrian and Lebanese citizens on both sides of the border.
Witnesses and the state-run National News Agency said the border crossings were reopened Monday afternoon. The reopening followed a visit by north Lebanese delegates to Damascus on Sunday. The delegates met with Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa to review the suffering of residents of north Lebanon as a result of the closure.
Syria's official news agency SANA said al-Sharaa informed members of the delegation that Syrian President Bashar Assad had given orders to reopen the borders.
Also Monday, the Lebanese military issued a statement announcing the death of a Lebanese soldier, saying he died Sunday of injuries sustained during fighting in Nahr el-Bared. His death brought to 170 the number of soldiers who have died in the conflict.