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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Deploying Troops to Lebanon

President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia would send troops to Lebanon to help rebuild it after the conflict with Israel.

Russia will send a "a group of servicemen as part of a battalion for reconstruction work," Putin said at a meeting with senior Cabinet ministers, state television reported.

Putin instructed the Kremlin's chief of staff, Sergei Sobyanin, to prepare the paperwork for the deployment, which will have to be approved by the Federation Council.

Russia's troops will not work as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, which is being expanded to uphold a truce between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

Israel invaded south Lebanon after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross border raid on July 12. The conflict killed nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

A truce brokered by the UN halted the war on Aug. 14.

Ivanov said an advance party would set off this week and the main bulk of the Russian forces could leave for Lebanon by the end of the month. "A special reconnaissance group of military specialists, engineers and bomb disposal experts are ready to leave this week for Lebanon," Ivanov told Putin.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Lebanese government had accepted Russia's offer to send forces.