BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hale meets Bassil over Lebanese Army support

The shipment included mortars and other offensive weapons to boost the Lebanese Army. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: U.S. Ambassador David Hale Friday handed the Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil a memo detailing the United States arms and equipment shipment to the Lebanese Army.

According to the state-run National News Agency, Hale left the meeting without making any statement.

The Lebanese Army has received two shipments of rocket launchers and assault rifles from the U.S.

Hale has promised more arms, saying the shipments last week would be followed by unspecified heavy weaponry.

A source at the American Embassy had told The Daily Star that 1,500 M16s, more than 450 anti-tank guided missiles and 60 mortars delivered by the U.S. military last week were worth nearly $9 million.

A further estimated $11 million of military aid, including undetermined heavy weapons, will be delivered to the Army by “early September,” with the next shipment scheduled to arrive in a matter of days.

Additional weaponry will be delivered by the U.S. Army as part of the $1 billion Saudi grant coordinated by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the embassy source added.

In a speech made at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Hale said the weapons were financed by American tax dollars. “This weaponry and ordnance is paid for by the American people,” he said. “Over the coming weeks, more ammunition and more heavy weaponry will be delivered from the United States to the Army.”

 

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