Lebanese president inquires about recent Syrian deployment

By Xinhua,

Beirut : Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Sunday contacted his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to inquire about its deployment of almost 10,000 soldiers along its northern borders with Lebanon, local Daily Star reported Monday.

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The report said that Assad assured Suleiman that the deployment was one of several measures which Syria is adopting to counter smuggling.

The Syrian deployment which was reported last month, raised many suspicions about its intervention in Lebanon among Lebanese and international leaders.

The U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned last week against any Syrian attempt to interfere in Lebanon under the pretext of preserving its security.

Lebanese Sunni major leader MP Saad Hariri lashed out at President Assad, accusing him of trying to insinuate that Lebanon was responsible for the security troubles in Damascus.

At least 17 people were killed by a car bomb in Damascus in September; another car bomb targeted Lebanese army soldiers in northern Lebanese city of Tripoli killed 7 people and injured 33 more.

The Syrian president announced last month that the security deterioration in north Lebanon is posing a threat to the Syrian security situation.