Lebanese Army Receives First Batch of US Aircrafts

An A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft is seen in Hamat Air Base in Lebanon’s mountains October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
An A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft is seen in Hamat Air Base in Lebanon’s mountains October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
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Lebanese Army Receives First Batch of US Aircrafts

An A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft is seen in Hamat Air Base in Lebanon’s mountains October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
An A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft is seen in Hamat Air Base in Lebanon’s mountains October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim

The Lebanese Army received on Tuesday two US A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, within the framework of the US military aid program to Lebanon, during a ceremony held at the “Hamat” airbase in the area of Batroun, north of the country.

Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard, US Central Command Air Force Commander General for Southwest Asia Jeffrey Harrigian and a number of Lebanese and American officers attended the ceremony.

The planes will be used as armed observation aircraft, a security source in Lebanon told Reuters, adding that such a move would represent a big upgrade for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

In a speech on the occasion, Aoun said the two new aircraft - which have advanced combat and surveillance capabilities - would “make a qualitative leap in improving the aerial capabilities of the LAF.”

The army commander expressed his gratitude for the “American support, which contributed to the activation of the army’s capabilities in the face of terrorism.”

Richard, for her part, said the significant increase in LAF combat capability would ensure that the Army would remain a national unifying force, “a bulwark against extremism and terrorism.”

“We have recently announced another $120 million in foreign military financing, which brings the total investment in the LAF to over $160 million just this year,” she added.

The Lebanese army commander held a meeting last week with the US Ambassador and British Ambassador Hugo Shorter, during which Lebanese officers presented the needs of the Lebanese army in weapons, ammunition and equipment as part of its counterterrorism efforts, within the framework of annual programs agreed upon since 2009.



Netanyahu Says Israel Winding Down Gaza Operations. A Lebanon War Could be Next

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)
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Netanyahu Says Israel Winding Down Gaza Operations. A Lebanon War Could be Next

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the current phase of fighting against Hamas in Gaza is winding down, setting the stage for Israel to send more troops to its northern border to confront Hezbollah.
The Israeli leader said in a lengthy TV interview that while the army is close to completing its current ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, that would not mean the war against Hamas is over. But he said fewer troops would be needed in Gaza, freeing up forces to battle Hezbollah.

“We will have the possibility of transferring some of our forces north, and we will do that,” he told Israel’s Channel 14, a pro-Netanyahu TV channel, in an interview that was frequently interrupted by applause from the studio audience. “First and foremost, for defense,” he added, but also to allow tens of thousands of displaced Israelis to return home.

Netanyahu said he hoped a diplomatic solution to the crisis could be found but vowed to solve the problem “in a different way” if needed. ″We can fight on several fronts and we are prepared to do that,” he said.
He said any deal would not just be “an agreement on paper.” He said it would require Hezbollah to be far from the border, an enforcement mechanism and the return of Israelis back to their homes. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated shortly after the fighting erupted and have not been able to go home.

Hezbollah has said it will continue battling Israel until a cease-fire is reached in Gaza. The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, warned Israel last week against launching a war, saying Hezbollah has new weapons and intelligence capabilities that could help it target more critical positions deeper inside Israel.