PETALING JAYA – The second detachment of the Malaysian Battalion 850-11 (MALBATT 850-11), set to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, departed this afternoon. The detachment’s departure marks a significant contribution to international peacekeeping efforts.

According to BERNAMA News Agency, Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari announced that the 216-member detachment, comprising 16 officers from the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and 193 personnel, along with seven personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, was led by MALBATT 850-11 deputy commander, Lt Col Zainol Abdul Samad. Adly emphasized the importance of this detachment in demonstrating the ATM’s commitment to peacekeeping under the auspices of the UN, particularly in Lebanon.

“The ATM’s involvement, through the MALBATT contingent in Lebanon, has clearly received international acknowledgment and support. Their role and involvement prove Malaysia is very committed to carrying out humanitarian aid missions to countries in need to ensure shared peace and security are upheld,” Adly said during the departure ceremony at the Subang Air Base in Shah Alam.

Adly detailed the rigorous preparation the detachment underwent, including three months of special training. This consisted of a month-long sole service training and two months of force integration training under the supervision of the Joint Forces Command at MALBATT Village, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

“MALBATT 850-11 is ready to mobilize to Lebanon to replace MALBATT 850-10, which will complete its United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission after serving for 12 months,” Adly added. He noted that the detachment would be mobilized in stages, with four Air Asia flights. The first group departed on November 2, Group 3 is scheduled to leave on November 12, and Group 4 will follow four days later.

Adly also highlighted the increased challenges faced by the contingent due to the Israel-Gaza conflict that erupted on October 7. He explained that the conflict has heightened tensions, resulted in the loss of lives, and caused extensive property damage. “Obviously, the conflict will impact the security situation in southern Lebanon and affect the operations of the MALBATT 850-10 and MALBATT 850-11 contingents if it drags on,” he said, underlining the complex and volatile environment the peacekeepers will operate in.