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Syrian Troops Penetrate 3 Kilometers into Lebanese Territories
Syrian troops on Thursday reportedly have penetrated three kilometers into Lebanese territories, taking up positions in the mountains near Yanta in east Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
The daily Al Mustaqbal, citing sources who confirmed the cross-border penetration, did not say when the procedure in the Fahs Hill overlooking Deir al-Ashaer in the Rashaya province took place.
The sources said Syrian troops, backed by bulldozers, were fortifying positions "in more than one area" along the Lebanese border, erecting earth mounds and digging "hundreds" of trenches and individual bunkers.
Syria has repeatedly said it wants peace talks, and Israeli officials have admitted that secret contacts have taken place. "Bashar al-Assad, you know that I am ready for direct talks with you," Mr Olmert said. "You have been saying that you want the negotiations through the Americans. But they do not want to sit with you. I am ready to sit with you and talk about peace not war."
Meanwhile, the Israeli press has been full of talk about the possibility of renewed hostilities with Syria, and the Israeli army has been staging exercises in the Golan Heights.
Some Israeli intelligence officials have warned that Damascus is preparing for a conflict.
'Syria removing Golan checkpoints'
The London based Al-Hayat reported Saturday that Israel was "concerned" that Syria's decision to remove military checkpoints on the road to Kuneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights could be a preparation for war.
According to the report, the checkpoints in question had been in place for 40 years, ever since the Six Day War.
Al-Hayat also claimed that foreign journalists were being barred from covering IDF maneuvers conducted on the Golan Heights.
'Syria urges citizens to leave Lebanon'
Syria has called on its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country ahead of an expected military eruption expected to take place next week.
Some news reports predict Lebanon's political crisis may become a violent conflict next week. Reports from the area suggest civil war is possible, according to UPI.
Syria has stepped up its muzzling of the Internet, blocking access to a string of websites critical of the regime, including some run by leading dailies, a human rights group said on Saturday.