Syrian President, UN Secretary General Discuss South Lebanon Tension
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a telephone call Saturday from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to review the region's latest developments, especially the growing tension in southern Lebanon.
The State-owned Syrian television said that they discussed UN efforts to stop Israel's belligerence, KUNA reported. Saturday's telephone call was the second call between the two leaders in three days.
Five people were wounded - one seriously - in Ghajar village, on the Lebanese Israeli border, Saturday evening during a heavy missile and mortar bombardment by gunners based in Lebanon.
Hizbullah was responsible for the attack, the Israeli army said Saturday night.
Israel has warned Syria and Lebanon through the US, UN, and European channels they will be held responsible if attacks by Hizbullah and Palestinian groups operating in southern Lebanon continue, a senior official in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said.
Although Israel has not set a clear deadline, "we will respond with great force if this continues," the Israeli official warned.
Danny Ayalon, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's foreign policy adviser, echoed the warning to Syria and Lebanon at a recent press conference. He said Israel expected to see an international effort aimed at Syria - currently a member of the UN Security Council - that will cause it to end its assistance to Hizbullah.
Meanwhile, Syrian troops in Lebanon pulled out from their nearest positions to the Israeli border on Saturday, continuing a movement apparently designed to minimize the threat of Israeli attacks.
Reuters reported Syrian soldiers pulled out from their position on al-Awali River at the entrance of the port city of Sidon, 40 kilometers west of disputed Shebaa Farms. (Albawaba.com)
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