The Trump administration is putting new weapons into Lebanon in a bid to help the government there fight terrorism, but is doing so at a time of political turmoil and uncertainty.
Robert Karem, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told Congress in October that the Defense Dept. was planning to supply the Lebanese Armed Forces with six US-made MD-530G light attack helicopters.
The proposal also includes communications equipment such as radios, satellite navigation and transponder beacons.
The equipment and aircraft are being provided to Lebanon ostensibly so it can fight ISIS militants said to be gathering along the country’s northern border.
The Pentagon has sent nearly $350 million to Lebanon through the program over the past three years. Other equipment includes Bradley fighting vehicles, machine guns, mortars, and night-vision goggles for Beirut’s special operations teams.
The supply of weapons comes amid allegations that the country’s armed forces are not as independent of the country’s predominant political force, Hezbollah, as Beirut claims. [source]
Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy.
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