Syria says deployment on Lebanon border to fight smuggling
Lebanon's Army Commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji said Syria had informed Lebanon in advance of deploying troops off the northern borders with the aim on fighting smuggling. According to Naharnet, Qahwaji relayed the information to Premier Fouad Saniora who returned home Tuesday from a visit to Saudi Arabia during which he met King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.
Qahwaji reportedly said the Syrians had informed him that the move has "no other aim but upgrading procedures to combat smuggling."
Earlier, a Lebanese military spokesman said the Syrian authorities have assured the Lebanese army that the build-up is aimed at cracking down on smuggling and other crime along the border.