MARJAYOUN, Lebanon – Spanish Defense Minister Dolores Cospedal visited on Thursday Spanish troops deployed in Lebanon and highlighted that their efforts in the fight against terror were vital.
Cospedal spoke at a base near the town of Marjayoun, in the south of Lebanon, where Spanish troops are deployed as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
“There is no rest when it comes to fighting against those who want to end our way of living and our freedom,” she said. “This is why any action by Spanish troops in the fight against terror or to guarantee stability in countries like Lebanon is very important.”
She said Spain participates in 16 international missions to defend peace and security and the government had on Friday approved to reinforce some of them.
The mission in Iraq is to increase by 30 troops, while 65 more are to be sent to Afghanistan and 152 to Mali.
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon was created in 1978 to verify that Israel withdrew its troops from Lebanon five days after an attempted invasion by the Israeli Defense Forces.
Spanish soldiers in Marjayoun are responsible for verifying an end of hostilities in the region and ensuring that both Lebanon and Israel respect the Blue Line, the UN-approved border, and that civilians receive humanitarian aid.
In the past 11 years of involvement in UNIFIL, around 23,700 Spanish troops have been deployed there and 14 have been killed.