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UK Deputy Chief of Defense Staff affirms UK support to Lebanese Army

The UK Deputy Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Harvey Smyth, has completed a two-day visit to Lebanon. This was his first visit, to discuss UK efforts for de-escalation in the region, the British Embassy in Beirut said in a statement Wednesday.

Air Marshall Smyth met with Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri, General Joseph Aoun, Chief of Defense for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdallah Bou Habib. In his messages he reiterated UK’s support to the strengthening of LAF and for the people of Lebanon. He emphasised UK’s ongoing commitment to support LAF as it delivers stability and security across Lebanon despite the country’s challenges,

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Gallant claims half of Hezbollah's commanders in south eliminated

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday claimed that half of Hezbollah's commanders in southern Lebanon have been killed by the Israeli military.

The remarks were made following a visit to the Israeli army’s Northern Command in Safad, where Gallant held an assessment with the chief of the command, Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, and other top officers.

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French FM to visit Beirut in bid to 'separate' Lebanon from Gaza

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné will visit Beirut on Sunday to “follow up on the file of support for the Lebanese Army,” al-Joumhouria newspaper reported.

Séjourné will meet with Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker PM Najib Mikati, caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib and possibly Army chief General Joseph Aoun, ahead of traveling to Saudi Arabia and from there to Tel Aviv, the daily said.

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Hezbollah replaces Iranian forces as Tehran cuts Syria presence

Iran has reduced its military footprint in Syria after a succession of strikes blamed on Israel, a source close to Iran-backed Hezbollah and a war monitor said Wednesday.

Iran has provided military support to Syrian government forces through more than a decade of civil war but a series of strikes targeting its commanders in recent months has prompted a reshaping of its presence, the sources said.

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Berri says quintet ambassadors didn't ask him to set electoral session

Commenting on his meeting Tuesday with the ambassadors of the five-nation group of Lebanon, Speaker Nabih Berri has said that the circumstances have not “matured” yet regarding the presidential vote.

“There is slow progress, but things have not matured enough yet,” Berri said, in remarks published Wednesday in al-Akhbar newspaper.

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Geagea says border clashes not real support but 'show' with political goals

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah acted defensive even though no one has accused him or Hezbollah of killing the LF local coordinator in Jbeil, Pascal Sleiman.

Geagea said in an interview Tuesday with Sky News Arabia that the LF had called for restraint and did not accuse Hezbollah of what he called a political assassination.

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Bassil urges consensus on 'reformist, sovereign and patriotic president'

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil told a delegation from the National Moderation bloc that there is a need for “consensus on a reformist, sovereign and patriotic president.”

“If that is not possible, democratic competition through voting remains much better than vacuum,” Bassil added.

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Hezbollah repeatedly attacks Israel in response to Hanin strike

Hezbollah said it fired fresh barrages of rockets across the border on Wednesday after an Israeli strike killed two civilians.

The Israeli army meanwhile said it struck 40 Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon as Israeli warplanes carried out 14 airstrikes on the outskirts of Aita al-Shaab and Ramia.

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Hezbollah launches 'dozens' of rockets at Israel after civilian deaths in Hanin

Hezbollah said it has launched dozens of rockets at northern Israel in response to the killing of two civilians in a strike blamed on Israel in Lebanon's south.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah group and Israel have exchanged regular fire in the south of Lebanon since October.

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Quintet meets Berri as presidential void drags on

Four ambassadors of the five-nation group for Lebanon met Tuesday with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, after a series of meetings with politicians and leaders in Beirut in an attempt to break the presidential impasse in Lebanon.

The ambassadors of Egypt, France, KSA, and Qatar and the Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. embassy in Beirut briefed Berri on the results of their meetings.

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