US Releases Military Aid to Lebanon after Months-Long Delay

Lebanese army soldiers (Photo: AP)

The Trump administration has released more than $100 million in aid for the Lebanese Armed Forces after months of unexplained delay, officials said Monday.

The $105 million in FMF funds were released just before Thanksgiving, and lawmakers were notified on Monday, two congressional staffers and an administration official told The Associated Press.

The money had been held up by officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since September, even though it had been approved by Congress and had strong support from the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council.

Pentagon and State Department officials, as well as national security experts, said the military assistance, which covers the cost of US-made military equipment supplied to the Lebanese army, was crucial for maintaining stability in the country and pushing back against Iran.

Some pro-Israel members of Congress have sought to defund the Lebanese military, arguing that it has been compromised by Hezbollah. The Pentagon and State Department reject that view, saying the army is the only independent Lebanese institution capable of resisting Hezbollah.

 

[Sources: AP, CNN]

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