U.S. Reportedly Tells Hariri Veto Lifted on Attack Helicopters


U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield told Prime Minister Saad Hariri during their meeting in Rome on Thursday that the U.S. Congress had lifted a veto on providing the Lebanese Army with attack helicopters, a media report said.

The Congress' move came a day before the Rome II Conference that was aimed at rallying support for Lebanon's army and security forces, al-Hayat newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The U.S. decision to grant Lebanon attack helicopters was first disclosed during a December visit by the head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel to Lebanon.

American Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said a new assistance package, valued at more than $120 million, includes six new light attack helicopters, six unmanned aerial vehicles and communication and night vision devices.

She said the equipment will help the army "build on its steady strong capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations."

According to a U.S. Embassy statement, the U.S. will grant Lebanon "six new MD 530G light attack helicopters and associated equipment and training, valued at more $94 million.”

Washington has been a major supporter of Lebanon's army, and has provided more than $1 billion in military assistance to Lebanon since 2006.

Comments 6
Thumb s.o.s 18 March 2018, 17:02

If an Israeli soldier knocks on my door, I’ll let him in, serve him baklava and Turkish coffee and tell him where the terrorists’ homes are. And trust me, I know where several Hizbalot cadres live in Beirut and in the south. The filth will be eradicated.

Thumb s.o.s 18 March 2018, 17:03

Beautiful 500 series McDonnel Douglas helos. Shukran amreeka.

Missing arturo 18 March 2018, 17:10

Agree. Lebanon should refuse the helicopters and the US should refuse to send them. Lebanon doesn't need or want them.

Thumb s.o.s 18 March 2018, 17:37

We will need them one day to fight all armed terrorist organizations. Whether it’s the Shia or the Palestinian camps, their days are numbered. And of course, we can already anticipate an new Assad creation, they’ll create a Daesh 2.0 to justify Hizbalot’s existence. Mark my words.
And by keep our LAF weak, you defend Hizbalot because they alway claim that the LAF is not strong enough to repel threats. However, the army leadership needs to be cleaned up, because the current one is loyal to Iran, Syria.

Missing arturo 18 March 2018, 17:13

Think your point is that even if all of Lebanon's infrastructure is destroyed, Lebanon will damage Israel's infrastructure. And Lebanon will raise billions from KSA and Iran to rebuild -- like last time. Interesting....but what happens if the money doesn't come in?

Thumb whyaskwhy 19 March 2018, 17:14

We all want to see the Lebanese Army stand on its feet and assume the role of protecting our borders. Fact of the matter is that this is a loan and not free and also consider these small units are a very light duty scout converted over to light attack helicopter that would not have much effect on either Kizb nor other other terror groups in Lebanon who would be able to fire missiles at them freely. I beleive the best thing for our Army is education for each and every soldier to appreciate and accept the law above all and that irrelevant of what God they hang on their wall Lebanon comes first.