Lebanese Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman urged his soldiers Monday to counter Israeli "aggressions and violations," as the military deployed along the southern border for the first time in 30 years.
"I call on you to confront the Israeli aggressions and violations with whatever potentials are on hand at present," Suleiman told the soldiers during a ceremony in which the Lebanese flag was hoisted on a hilltop in the border village of Labbouneh for the first time since 1970.
The army deployment along the Blue Line villages of Marwaheen, Kfar Kila, Maroun al-Rass, Bleeda and Adaysseh came a day after Israel nearly completed its withdrawal from south Lebanon, except for the small border village of Ghajar.
The "deployment in the south will help the military to carry out its duties in terms of defense, security and development, with the help of the U.N. forces," the army chief said.
The deployment "to monitor the southern borders and the maritime and territorial borders is meant to prevent aggressions as well as the smuggling of weapons and other prohibited items," he added.