The US Government has committed to provide more than $120m of military assistance to Lebanon.
It has announced three new US Department of Defense (DoD) programmes to help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) build its capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations.
The new initiatives are funded through the DoD’s ‘Building Partner Capacity’ programme.
These programmes will provide the LAF with a rotary wing close air support capabilities, C4ISR functions, and additional features to employ joint fire assistance.
A statement posted by the US Embassy in Lebanon read: “The announcement of these programmes reaffirms the US Government’s commitment to the Lebanese-American partnership and support of the Lebanese Armed Forces in their capacity as the sole defender of Lebanon.”
Under the first $94m programme, the LAF will receive six new MD 530G light attack helicopters with equipment and training from the US.
The second programme covers the delivery of six new Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles and associated equipment and training, valued at more than $11m.
The third $16m programme will deliver communications equipment, electronics equipment, night-vision devices, and training to the LAF.
Following the meeting with Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri, US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said: “We also talked about how the US and the broader international community can support Lebanon in these challenging times.
“Just last week, for example, the International Support Group for Lebanon met in Paris to recognise Prime Minister Hariri as a major partner in managing Lebanon’s unity and stability.”