New Italian Warship Joins UNIFIL Navy Fleet

A new Italian warship deployed on Wednesday off the Lebanese coast, joining the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon's naval forces.

The warship, Andrea Doria, was carrying 237 Italian naval peacekeeping troops, the state-run National News Agency reported.

"Since 2006, Italy has repeatedly contributed to UNIFIL's naval forces before withdrawing its troops in 2010,” UNIFIL Commander Major-General Paolo Serra in a celebration held on the occasion of the ship's arrival.

Serra added: “The navy deployed following the Lebanese cabinet's request and according to resolution 1701 of the United Nations Security Council.”

During the event, a resume of the troops' work was distributed explaining that the naval forces now include 9 units from Brazil, Germany, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Italy, Turkey and Greece.

The warship, Andrea Doria, was deployed just off the coast on September 6 to protect the 1,100 Italian troops on U.N. peacekeeping duty in Lebanon.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said then that the destroyer's mission was to provide logistic support to the Italian contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Letta said concern over Syria has hit "maximum" levels.

Meanwhile, a navy spokesman had told Agence France Presse that "this is the best possible asset to act quickly in case of an evacuation."

The Andrea Doria, a 153-meter long destroyer, "will monitor the situation", he said.

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