Acting under an Arab League peace-keeping mandate, Syrian troops reinforced their positions in the suburbs of Beirut on Thursday (11 November) and brought almost total calm to Lebanon's war-weary capital.
GV Troops looking down onto Beirut, Lebanon, from hilltop
GV Troops advancing on foot (3 shots)
GV Tanks moving into Beirut cheered on by crowd (3 shots)
GV Lorries and armoured vehicles driving through streets (2 shots)
GV Troops and armoured vehicles moving towards city centre (2 shots)
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Background: Acting under an Arab League peace-keeping mandate, Syrian troops reinforced their positions in the suburbs of Beirut on Thursday (11 November) and brought almost total calm to Lebanon's war-weary capital.
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday (10 November) long columns of Syrian troops, tanks and artillery streamed down mountain roads to surround Beirut in an overwhelming show of strength to impose peace in Lebanon. As the Syrians reached the southern outskirts of the city artillery fire hit leftist-held west Beirut.
Continuing their advance the troops moved into the suburbs -- apparently welcomed by the civilian population. There was little opposition to their manoeuvres and Syrian bulldozers demolished dozens of barricades on roads and highways around the divided capital. The Syrian forces are under the personal command of Lebanese President Elias Sarkis.
They were deployed after Mr. Sarkis won the reluctant consent of the main right-wing leaders to their presence in rightist-held areas. The reopening of the road linking Beirut airport with the eastern sector of the capital is reported to be the next objective for the Syrians, who were fighting on the side of the Lebanese right wing less than a month ago.
So far, however, the Syrians had not yet entered central areas of the city. But Beirut newspapers have said that they were bringing in sophisticated electronic detection equipment, which would enable them to spot sources of shelling to "within five metres" (yards) if anyone tries to break the ceasefire.