Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The UN Force in Lebanon

Morocco, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Malaysia, France and possibly Germany and Russia are to send peacekeeping troops to Lebanon. The UN contingent will be exclusively under French command. The mandate UN provides for the reinforcement of the 2,000-man UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon) contingent, operating in Lebanon since 1978 to which China, France, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine have contributed men. The beefed-up UNIFIL contingent will serve alongside 15,000 Lebanese troops (all Shi'ite, BTW) for a total of close to 30,000 peacekeeping troops.

Italy is to send the Friuli Ariete brigade and the Tuscan Folgore (Lighting) Brigade, which have armor (tanks and troop carriers) and helicopter gunships. The Italian Air Force will deploy several AMX fighter jets; the Navy will deploy a few vessels off the Levantine coast, hopefully to monitor and to challenge the Israeli blocade.

The French Command under General Alain Pelegrini will report the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. It has already warned that logistics will be a nightmare. The largest part of the French contingent will be engineering corps. And clearly, the announced $98 million budget will be insufficient.

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr has declared the following: 15,000 Lebanese troops will be deployed to the north bank of the Litani by the end of the week in preparation to move across the river. They will not disarm Hezbollah. Our Army is not going to the south of the country to disarm Hezbollah and to perform the work of Israel. The Resistance is cooperating well and as soon as the Army enters the South, there will be no weapons except those in the possession of the Army.

This can in no way be considered a positive development for Israel. The peacekeeping force is a Sovereignty Guarantee force. Israel is and will continue to be chastized by the international community. It is unlikely that Olmert will survive for long in office.


Blogger eugene said...

certainly not good for Israel, but also not good for Lebanon: it's the same stupid hide-and-seek, game they've been playing till now.
How many times do they have to be bombed to learn the lesson?

9:33 PM  

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