Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Iranian women push boundaries through sport

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Crowds, Lies & Alternative Facts

Read more

ENCORE!

Backstage at the Haute Couture show of designer Julien Fournié

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

President Trump pulls US out of TPP trade deal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump is rolling back the clock on diversity in the cabinet'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Did France's left inflate turnout figures in round one of the primary?

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Dozens killed in attack on military camp in Mali

Read more

THE DEBATE

Splintered left: French Socialists divided ahead of primary run-off (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Splintered left: Are Europe's Social Democrats obsolete? (part 2)

Read more

US movements off Lebanese coast a signal to Syria

Latest update : 2008-03-05

The US Navy has replaced the destroyer USS Cole and a refueling ship off Lebanon's coast with two other ships amid a political deadlock there to warn Syria of its commitment to the region.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Navy has replaced two ships it sent off the coast of Lebanon last week amid political deadlock there to send a signal to Syria, officials said on Tuesday.

The cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the destroyer USS Ross replaced the destroyer USS Cole and a refueling ship over the past day, U.S. Navy officials said.

Another refueling ship remained in place, meaning the United States continued to have three warships in the area, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The ships are not visible from the Lebanese coast but their presence is intended as a signal to Syria and other countries in the Middle East of U.S. commitment to the region, U.S. officials have said.

Washington has blamed Damascus for a 16-month-old power struggle between Lebanon's Western-backed government and the Syrian and Iranian-backed opposition that has left the country without a president since November.

Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah group accused the United States last week of endangering regional stability by deploying the USS Cole.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, also speaking last week, said his government had not asked Washington to send warships and none of them were in Lebanese territorial waters.

At the time of the USS Cole's deployment, U.S. officials indicated it was likely to be there for a short time before being replaced by other warships.

A senior U.S. defense official said American warships would maintain a presence off the coast until Lebanon's presidential election.

That election was postponed again this week to March 11 from Feb. 26, the 15th delay.

Date created : 2008-03-05

COMMENT(S)