France: No Scud evidence in Lebanon


French authorities have no evidence to support claims of Scud missiles in the south of Lebanon, the French defense minister said in Beirut


Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, the head of the Israeli army’s intelligence research division, told Israeli lawmakers May 4 that Syria had transferred long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

French Defense Minister Herve Morin said following his visit with Lebanese officials and French soldiers working with the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon that there was no evidence to support the Scud claims.

“We don’t have any specific information supporting the idea of Scud missiles in the south,” he said. UNIFIL expressed similar sentiments in early May, stressing their evidence was limited to southern Lebanon.

There are 1,500 French soldiers serving in the UNIFIL peacekeeping force that operates about 5 miles from the Israeli border. A weekend explosion injured 11 French members of UNIFIL during an accidental rocket explosion.

Morin added that France was ready to supply weapons to the Lebanese military in an effort to stabilize the region.

“France fully supports the Lebanese and its government so that Lebanon can preserve its unity and stability and regain full and global sovereignty over its territories,” he said. UPI