The Italian Navy has taken responsibility for a UN maritime task force deployed in Lebanese waters to check for arms smuggling.
The task force was deployed in 2006 during the 34-day conflict between the Israeli military and Hezbollah guerrillas.
As a part of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the task force is the first naval force deployed on the UN peacekeeping mission.
UNIFIL is one of the longest-standing UN peacekeeping missions deployed in Lebanaon since 1978.
Nearly 300 vessels have been transferred to the Lebanese authorities for investigation by the task force since operations began in 2006.