Hale: U.S. to Deliver Aid to Lebanese Army within Weeksإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale announced on Thursday that his country will deliver an urgent aid to the Lebanese army within the upcoming few weeks which will continue in the months to follow.
“This assistance will enhance the LAF’s ability to secure Lebanon’s borders, protect Lebanon’s people, and fight these violent extremist groups,” Hale said after talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel at the Grand Serail.
He pointed out that the deal will include munition and ordinance for offensive and defensive combat.
Hale revealed that his country was meeting a request by the Lebanese army to attain emergency assistance.
“we are in intensive consultations with the Lebanese government and our partners about how to best respond to additional needs of the Lebanese Armed Forces,” Hale told reporters.
The diplomat considered the “deliveries are part of a long-standing U.S.-Lebanese military partnership,” noting that his country's assistance to the army has exceeded $1 billion since 2006.
Following the 2006 summer war between Israel and Hizbullah, the army deployed in southern Lebanon — Hizbullah's heartland — for the first time in decades, with the help of U.N. peacekeepers. Since then, the U.S. has stepped up its military assistance to the Lebanese army.
Hale expressed satisfaction regarding his country's strong partnership with the LAF.
“We continue to stand with Lebanon and with the LAF and ISF as they protect the country from the spillover of violence from Syria.”
The fighting that erupted in the northeastern town of Arsal on August 2 between Islamist gunmen and the Lebanese army has raised new concerns about the effects of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon.
Despite officially distancing itself from the war, Lebanon's existing sectarian and political tensions have been worsened by the conflict next door.
It is also hosting more than one million Syrian refugees, who have tested its limited resources and the patience of its four million citizens.