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Syrian President Expected to Announce Lebanon Redeployment


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will address his parliament shortly, and is expected to announce a partial redeployment of Syrian troops in Lebanon.

In the face of increasing international isolation, Mr. Assad is likely to say he is pulling back troops from areas in and around the Lebanese capital to the eastern Bekaa valley, which borders Syria.

The United States, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all demanded that Syria begin immediately withdrawing its 14,000 troops from Lebanon. Meanwhile, in Beirut,

Lebanese army troops briefly took up positions near the headquarters of Syrian intelligence Saturday. Several dozen commandos, backed by armored troop carriers, moved into position on the southern edge of the city but later withdrew.

Damascus has been under renewed international pressure to leave Lebanon since last month's assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. Many Lebanese blame Syria for the killing, prompting mass demonstrations in Beirut that toppled the pro-Syrian government on Monday.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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