440 Irish Troops to Deploy in Southern Lebanon Next Year

Ireland's cabinet gave the green light for the deployment of 440 Irish soldiers in south Lebanon as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

The troops are expected to be deployed in the south in the second half of 2011.

Their area of operation will be a 140sq km block extending from Tibnin in southern Lebanon to the U.N.-drawn Blue Line along the border with Israel.

They will be deployed alongside Finnish troops, whom they worked closely with in Chad.

With their deployment in Lebanon, the Irish defense forces will resume their role in international peacekeeping after a year-long absence. Irish troops were withdrawn from their last major mission to Chad, when their mandate ended in May.