Middle East News
US warns Syria against "military intervention" in Lebanon
Oct 17, 2008, 20:31 GMT
Cairo - Washington would 'never permit Syria to intervene militarily in Lebanon,' US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview to Al-Arabiya TV broadcast Friday.
'A clear message has been delivered to Damascus stating that Washington will not tolerate a Syrian military intervention in Lebanon.' Rice said.
Recent military attacks in Tripoli and Damascus should not be used as a justification for Syrian military intervention in Lebanon, she said.
By end-September Syria deployed thousands of soldiers along its border with Lebanon. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said militants in northern Lebanon were targeting Syria, according to media reports.
Rice said that she and Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed al-Muallem had discussed issues related to border demarcation and control with Lebanon
'Syria should clarify to us on which side it stands,' she said in the interview.
The US warning comes a few days after the foreign ministers of Syria and Lebanon signed a document formalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries, for the first time since they became independent 60 years ago. The US has been cautious about the start-up of diplomatic ties.
Following the 2005 car bomb assassination of Lebanon's former premier Rafiq al-Hariri, Damascus was forced under US-led international pressure to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, after nearly three decades of their presence.