Naharnet

Report: U.S. Seeking to Speed up Delivery of Jets to Army to Aid it in Border Clashes

The United States is seeking to speed up the delivery of fighter jets to the Lebanese army as part of attempts to bolster its aerial power in confronting terrorist threats in border regions, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal on Saturday.

Official sources said that American diplomatic circles in Washington had relayed this information to Lebanese authorities in the past few hours.

The U.S. is aiming to provide the Lebanese military with jets from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan due to their close geographic proximity to Lebanon.

The army was engaged on Friday in clashes with terrorist groups in the Tallat al-Hamra area on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa region.

At least five soldiers were killed in the unrest, which erupted when the gunmen attacked an army surveillance post.

Members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State group have launched several such attacks in recent months.

Reports have raised fears lately that Syrian armed gunmen were planning to open a front in Lebanon by invading the northeastern border town of Arsal and advancing into al-Qaa, Ras Baalbek and other nearby villages.

The U.S. made a pledge in 2014 to bolster the army in the wake of clashes between the army and IS and Nusra Front gunmen in Arsal in August.

Reports have raised fears lately that Syrian armed gunmen were planning to open a front in Lebanon by invading the northeastern border town of Arsal and advancing into al-Qaa, Ras Baalbek and other nearby villages.

M.T.

D.A.


Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/164517