• Short Summary

    Lebanese Regular troops moved into South Lebanon on Monday (31 July) to try and bring back control of the region to the Beirut Government.

  • Description

    SV PAN: Lebanese people cheering as army come home on truck. (5 shots)

    There were reports of artillery firing by Christian forces on the Lebanese regular troops moving into Southern Lebanon on Monday (31 July). Israeli residents in the border town of Metullah said they heard artillery and mortar fire from the area around Marjayoun, a Christian stronghold town 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of Kaoukaba. Christian representatives at the border crossing point accused the Lebanese troops of being Pro-Syrian. Israel's stated position is that any tightening of Syrian control of Lebanon, would make the country a confrontation state in the Arab-Israel conflict. The Israeli's have laid down firm conditions before permitting Lebanese troops to approach the frontier zone. According to the Defence sources, these conditions were that Palestinian guerrilla activity should be controlled, Christian Militias should not e suppressed and the border crossing point between Israel and South Lebanon should be kept open.

    Initials RH/0040


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Lebanese Regular troops moved into South Lebanon on Monday (31 July) to try and bring back control of the region to the Beirut Government. A United Nations statement from Jerusalem said, "the Lebanese Task Force, "the Forces of the South Front", will coordinate with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to maintain peace, restore Lebanese sovereignty in the South and prevent any armed movement in the area. The area was occupied by the Israelis for three months until mid-June.

    SYNOPSIS: Lebanese regular troops moving along the road near Massaa, were greeted enthusiastically by the local residents. About 500 troops were expected to move into the area that was evacuated by Israel in mid-June. The decision to move army units south followed a series of meetings under the chairmanship of the Lebanese President Elias Sarkis, at which Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss met Defence Minister Fuad Butros and Leaders of the Armed Forces. One stretch of the border had been handed over to United Nation Forces, ut one stretch was retained by right-wing militias. The Lebanese Newspaper An-Nahar said the deployment of the troops would put all parties to the test. The Syrians promised to safeguard Passage for the troops, the Palestinians promised to cooperate and the Rightists have talked about supporting the decisions of the President Mr Sarkis.

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