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US to Grant over $100 Mn in Aid to Lebanese Army

US to Grant over $100 Mn in Aid to Lebanese Army

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017 - 18:45
Lebanese troops deploy in the eastern town of Arsal near the Syrian border on August 28, 2014. (AFP)

The United States will grant the Lebanese army $120 million in aid to boost border security, announced US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard.

She said after holding talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri that the aid will also strengthen the country’s counter-terrorism efforts.

The funds are part of Washington’s effort to prevent the spillover of the Syrian war into neighboring Lebanon.

Lebanon will get six MD 530G light attack helicopters, six Scan Eagle drones, and communication and night vision equipment under the new programs, Richard added.

The United States has given the Lebanese Armed Forces more than $1.5 billion in assistance over the past ten years, the Embassy has said previously.

The United States hopes to strengthen the Lebanese army to stop the spread of violence over the border from neighboring Syria and help it become the sole military force defending the country.

Since the eruption of the Syrian crisis in 2011, over a million Syrian refugees have flooded Lebanon as they escaped the violence in their country.

The displaced have significantly affected Lebanon’s infrastructure and officials have repeatedly called on donors to offer more aid to help in hosting them because the state’s resources were already stretched thin.

Lebanon had also suffered a limited spillover of the violence from Syria into its territory when in 2014 extremist groups overran the northeastern border town of Arsal where they briefly clashed with the army.

The extremists remained entrenched in the outskirts of Arsal until earlier this year.

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