Three Southeast Asian armies ready to deploy to Lebanon

Indonesian military chief Air Marshall Djoko Suyanto said at a joint media conference in Jakarta that three forces were preparing for any mission.

In response to a question from a reporter over whether the mostly Muslim forces might not stay neutral when dealing with fellow Muslims or Israeli forces, Suyanto said: "This is a peace mission. We agreed not to look at race or religion."

The three commanders said Indonesia was ready to send 850 soldiers, Malaysia between 850 and 1,000 and Brunei around 200.

At least 16 nations have said they are considering sending troops to an eventual U.N.-mandated international stabilization force in southern Lebanon, but only once a cease-fire is declared.

Aside from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, they are Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Ghana, Italy, Lithuania, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey, the AP reports.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has condemned Israeli air attacks on Lebanon as violations of international law and called for an immediate cease-fire.

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