French drones in Lebanon await UN green light

22nd December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 21, 2006 (AFP) - France is waiting for United Nations authorisation to deploy several unmanned drone aircraft in southern Lebanon, the defence ministry said in Paris Thursday.

PARIS, Dec 21, 2006 (AFP) - France is waiting for United Nations authorisation to deploy several unmanned drone aircraft in southern Lebanon, the defence ministry said in Paris Thursday.

"The means are ready and can be implemented very quickly if the UN so asks and decides," a spokesman said.

At the start of the month France said it was in a position to deploy the drones to strengthen the observation capacities of the UN interim force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The French offer followed a large number of overflights by Israeli aircraft, which Israel justified by claiming that the arms embargo laid down in UN Security Council resolution 1701 was being breached.

"The drones left (the Mediterranean port of) Toulon a few days ago and have arrived in Lebanon," the spokesman said without giving details of their location or number.

If put into operation the French drones will take part in the surveillance of a possible trafficking of arms, in particular along the borders between Syria and Lebanon and between Israel and Lebanon.

The drones are of the SDTI type and carry two cameras, one conventional, the other infra-red.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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