UN verifies Syrian pullout from Lebanon

May 24, 2005

All Syrian troops and intelligence officials have pulled out from Lebanon, a UN team has verified.

“We have verified all the withdrawal, including the border area,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced.

The UN security council adopted a resolution on September 2 calling on Syria to withdraw all its troops and intelligence operatives from Lebanon. But it was the international pressure following the February 14 assassination of Lebanon’s former anti-Syrian prime minister, Rafik Hariri, that spurred the Syrians to leave.

Syria’s last soldier in Lebanon walked across the border on April 26, ending a 29-year military presence that was the key to Damascus’ control of Lebanon.

The UN dispatched a team led by Senegalese Brigadier-General Mouhamadou Kandji, the deputy military adviser for the UN peacekeeping department, to verify the withdrawal.