Israel: April 1, 2005


The British amphibious ship Albion has joined the French commando support ship Var off the Lebanese coast. Although operating independently of the French vessel, it's been conducting evacuation exercises and acting like it's preparing to support commando operations in Lebanon. Like the French ship, the Albion can also support troops, serve as a headquarters and, in general, allow for intervention if Lebanon collapses into civil disorder. Unlike France, Britain does not have a large number of its citizens living in Lebanon, but there is an embassy, and some people to be evacuated. Many Lebanese believe that Syria, and their Lebanese allies, will not allow an anti-Syrian government to gain control in Lebanon. It's feared that the Syrians, and their Lebanese collaborators, are willing to risk another civil war in Lebanon in order to maintain Syrian economic advantages in Lebanon. The United States (and many European nations, and the UN) are telling Syria that this won't work, and would result in military action against Syria. 


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