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Beirut Denies Syrian Incursion (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gavriel Queenann 03/27/12)Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154222 INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Lebanese military sources on Tuesday denied Syrian army troops made an incursion into Lebanese territory in pursuit of army defectors.

Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported Syrian troops destroyed farm buildings and clashed with Syrian rebels who had taken refuge there.

However, a senior Lebanese military officer told al-Arabiya on condition of anonymity that the border region where the clash occurred is poorly marked and it was unclear an incursion had actually taken place.

The officer said Syrian troops may have "at most crossed a few hundred meters into Lebanon," adding it was "impossible" to confirm one way or another.

Another official, who also requested anonymity, told AFP the troops briefly entered the Lebanese side of Masharii al-Qaa, a region that sits along the border between the two countries.

He said one house in the area was hit by mortar shells and gunfire. Its residents had fled shortly before, he added.

According to residents the destroyed house sits some 200 meters inside Lebanese territory, while the fleeing army defectors remained within a kilometer of the border on the Lebanese side.

The Lebanese army blocked off the area, where hundreds of Syrian refugees – some active members of the rebel Syria Free Army – have fled a year-long popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad´s autocratic 11-year rule.

Lebanon has a complex relationship with Syria, which continues to exercise some influence over its neighbor despite the 2005 departure of thousands of Syrian troops and intelligence operatives from Lebanese soil.

Meanwhile, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad formally accepted a six point peace plan from UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan aimed at ending over a year of unrest in his country.

Rights groups say at least 9,100 people have been killed in Assad´s brutal crackdown on opposition to his 11-year autocratic rule. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 03/27/12)

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