Syria denies calling citizens back from Lebanon

Damascus denied reports Sunday morning that it ordered its nationals living in Lebanon to return to Syria, instead saying that it had made a decision to allow its students studying in Beirut to continue their studies in Damascus, fearing that Lebanese would harass them, Army Radio reported. Over the last few days, it was reported that Syria was working to withdraw its citizens from Lebanon in preparation for an upcoming regional war. The reports also said that the move could be intended to ensure the presence of civilians who could be called up for reserve duty in the case of a conflict with Israel.