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Sunday, December 04, 2011

France doesn't want to lead UNIFIL next year

From Naharnet:
France has renounced leading the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon fearing that its contingent would be a possible target of attacks if the situation on the border deteriorated, according to a report published in Le Figaro Newspaper on Saturday.

“It is better to stay in the shadows when the French diplomacy is taking a major role in the campaign on the Syrian regime,” military sources told the newspaper.

The sources said that France gave up its command role according to the rotation principle between the three European countries that have the wider participation in the UNIFIL, which are Italy, Spain, and France.

The command of the UNIFIL will be vacant in early 2012.

Le Figaro reported that the French step indicates the country’s decision to move away from the spotlight, as the UNIFIL peacekeepers “might be possible targets to be taken hostages if the situation in southern Lebanon deteriorates.

On July 26, 2011, a roadside bomb hit a French convoy in the southern city of Sidon, wounding five French peacekeepers.

The newspaper added that the rocket attack from southern Lebanon into northern Israel on Tuesday indicates that any military intervention in Syria will “affect the whole region.”

According to Le Figaro France gave up leading the UNIFIL leadership without any media fuss and without announcing the step.

France considers that the UNIFIL mission is “incapable of carrying out its tasks … due to the reduced freedom of movement and the humiliation of the soldiers” in the south, the newspaper said.
Yeah, when they signed up to be patrolling a region dominated by a terrorist group sworn to destroy its neighbor to the south they had no idea that it might actually be dangerous!

If you didn't realize that UNIFIL was a joke before....