Spanish troops arrive in Beirut on recon mission

A group of 29 Spanish soldiers arrived in Beirut on Wednesday on a reconnaissance mission to prepare a larger contingent that is to join the emerging UN peacekeeping force, the Defense Ministry said. The soldiers will meet with officials of the existing peacekeeping force UNIFIL and could visit areas where Spanish troops might eventually be deployed in southern Lebanon, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity because department rules bar him from being named. Spain's Parliament is expected to vote next week on deploying up to 1,000 Marines to Lebanon.