Lebanese forces show resolve, U.N. mission says

March 19, 2014 at 12:37 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 19 (UPI) -- The Lebanese military is commended for its commitment to peace in light of its vast security obligations, a UNIFIL official said Wednesday.

The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon held a ceremony in southern Lebanon to mark its 36th anniversary of service. UNIFIL has a mandate to secure the so-called Blue Line, a border area separating Israel from Lebanon

Karen Tchalian, the officer in charge of the mission, met with Lebanese Brig. Gen. Mohamed Janbar to honor the occasion.

The force commander said in a statement Wednesday his Lebanese counterparts have shown a commendable level of resolve "in spite of so much surrounding conflict, instability and uncertainty."

Lebanon's security has been threatened by civil war in neighboring Syria. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Tuesday the Israeli military responded with artillery fire after four soldiers were wounded by a bomb that hit their convoy in the Golan Heights area near the Syrian border.

The Lebanese government last month complained Israeli forces were violating its sovereignty with border patrols.

Tchalian said the situation along the border with Israel was calm, however, thanks in part to efforts from the Lebanese military.

"I wish to convey a special word of appreciation to colleagues of the [Lebanese military], who, in spite of demands on their assistance elsewhere in the country, continue to be an excellent partner for UNIFIL," he said.

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