RICE SAYS U.S. WILL NEVER ALLOW SYRIA TO ENTER LEBANON
OCT 18 2008
In an interview with the Arabiya TV, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice pledged Friday, Oct. 17, that Washington would “never permit Syria to intervene militarily in Lebanon.” She said the message had been clearly relayed to the Syrians. They were told that the recent attacks in Tripoli and Damascus should not be used as a pretext to justify such intervention.
US Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman flew to Beirut Friday.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: From Sept. 14, 6-8,000 Syrian troops have been massed on the North Lebanese border, as this site was first to disclose, causing great concern in Beirut and Jerusalem. Our military sources reported the deployment consisted of two commando brigades of the Syrian 4th Mechanized Division with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles.
Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora sent an SOS to Washington for help against a possible Syrian invasion. Two senior US officials arrived in Beirut with pledges of aid for the Lebanese army including Cobra military helicopters.
On Oct. 7, a second deployment of the 12th Mechanized Division took up positions further south, opposite the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, encircling half of Lebanon with Syrian troops. Last week, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak traveled north to inspect the readiness of IDF positions guarding the Syrian and Lebanese borders
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