Damascus has promised to deploy a battalion to help patrol the border with Lebanon to stop arms shipments to Hizbullah, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan disclosed on Friday. Annan, during a trip to Syris, said earlier this month that Syrian President Bashar Assad pledged to respect an embargo on weapons going into Lebanon and to help secure the frontier.
Elaborating on that pledge, Annan told reporters he had received a telephone call from the Syrian president earlier this week promising "to deploy one battalion to the border to help control the border."
According to Reuters, Annan said Assad also had accepted international offers of assistance for equipment, training of Syrian personnel and "international expertise." The UN secretary-general said he had asked Germany to provide "that expertise" along with what it is providing to the Lebanese government. "It's an attempt to tighten control on both sides of the border," Annan said.