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UNITED NATIONS - Syria's closure of its border to Lebanese trucks aims to strangle the Lebanese economy and is a sign Damascus still is trying to dominate Beirut, a U.S. official told the U.N. Security Council Thursday.
Washington was "deeply concerned" by Syria's move to ban trucks, which carry most of Lebanon's exports, from crossing its borders, said William Brencick, a political counselor in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
"This is yet another example of Syria interfering in Lebanon. The Syrian government is signaling not only to the Lebanese, but to the rest of the world, that it is still trying to call the shots there," he said during a council debate on the Middle East.
Syrian customs officials say they have had to tighten border controls for security, bringing to a halt hundreds of Lebanese trucks carrying everything from cherries for Jordan to cement for Iraq.
Lebanon's 150-mile eastern and northern border with Syria is its only land outlet, with Lebanon's southern border closed since Israel was created in 1948.