US delivers military equipment to Lebanon army to counter militant threat

World Tuesday 09/August/2016 17:58 PM
By: Times News Service
US delivers military equipment to Lebanon army to counter militant threat

Beirut: The United States delivered 50 armoured vehicles, 40 artillery pieces and 50 grenade launchers to the Lebanese army on Tuesday, part of its efforts to bolster Lebanon against a threat from militant groups in neighbouring, conflict-ridden Syria.
The equipment, worth $50 million, is part of an aid package that has now topped $220 million this year, making Lebanon the fifth-biggest recipient of American military assistance, US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said during the delivery.
Fighting between IS and other militant groups in Syria often flares in the mountains along Lebanon's northern frontier and the violence has periodically spilled across the border.
Eight IS suicide bombers targeted a Christian village in Lebanon near the Syrian frontier last month, killing five and raising fears of a new campaign of attacks.
Fighters from IS and other groups also stage regular incursions across the poorly demarcated border around the northern Lebanese town of Arsal, which they briefly overran in 2014 before the army drove them out.
Lebanon has a weak government and a number of countries support its armed forces as a bulwark against destabilisation in a country where around a quarter of the population are Syrian refugees.
This year Saudi Arabia suspended $3 billion in aid to the security forces.