The United Nations Commander in Southern Lebanon, General Emanuel Erskine, has been briefed on the positions of the Lebanese Army in the south.
The United Nations Commander in Southern Lebanon, General Emanuel Erskine, has been briefed on the positions of the Lebanese Army in the south. General Erskine visited Lebanese troops in the southern town of Arzoun.
SYNOPSIS: General Erskine's visit was as much a morale booster to the Lebanese troops as it was an opportunity for briefing. The Lebanese Army has been more in evidence during the latter part of this year since a change in its command structure. The civil war has divided the army badly and the mainly Christian force was unacceptable to much of the Moslem community.
The re-vitalised army is, according to the Lebanese Government, more acceptable to the whole population. General Erskine's visit also came amid fears of renewed trouble in the Southern Lebanon with the announcement by Iran that volunteers would soon be fighting alongside Palestinian forces in the area. However, the Acting Secretary General of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, Abdel Rahman Al-Solh said the Ministry had called the Iranian Charges d'Affaires to inform him that the Lebanese Government would refuse entry to the volunteer force. Such a move, he said, would endanger the situation throughout Southern Lebanon and would do great harm to the Palestinian cause.
Palestinians have greeted the reports of Iranian volunteers coolly. Meanwhile, General Erskine was briefed about the deployment of Lebanese troops in Southern Lebanon.