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UN concerned about Syria spillover
June 3, 2013, 11:15 pm

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon monitors the border with Syria [Xinhua]

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon monitors the border with Syria [Xinhua]

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is alarmed by the spillover of the Syrian unrest to Lebanon, a UN spokesperson said on Monday.

During the daily news briefing here in UN’s headquarters, Ban’ s spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters that the UN Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, has expressed his concerns about the recent fighting in Lebanon.

“The Secretary-General is alarmed by the spillover of violence from Syria into Lebanon” Nesirky said.

The conflict in Syria has increasingly spilled over into Lebanon, with Hezbollah militant group dispatching fighters to battle alongside the Syrian army against rebel forces.

At least one member of Hezbollah and 10 Syrian rebels were killed in clashes on the outskirts of Baalbek in east Lebanon on Sunday. The clashes came after a barrage of rockets fired from Syrian territory at Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon in recent days.

The US, Russian and UN officials will hold a three-way meeting to further the preparations for the international conference on Syria envisioned under the US-Russian initiative. Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative for Syria, and Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, will be present at that conference, according to Nesirky.

The US and Russia agreed in early May to sponsor another international conference in Geneva to end the 26-month-old conflict, which has killed more than 80,000 people, left 6.8 million people in need and driven 1.5 million Syrians as refugees abroad.

Last week, Russia said it may reconsider its restricted weapons supplies to Syria in light of the EU’s decision to lift a ban on arms sales to the Syrian opposition.

“Every decision has two sides. If one side lifts restrictions, the other may consider itself free from observing earlier commitments,” Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu said.