US Military Aid to Lebanon was Held Up over Iran-related Concerns
The United States this week announced that $105 million in military aid earmarked for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was delivered to Beirut, but that there had been a delay in the transfer for unspecified reasons. Two days later, a US diplomat in Lebanon clarified that the postponement was due to concerns the funds might fall into the hands of “adversaries,” a presumed reference to Hizbullah. The Iranian proxy has become the most powerful military force in the country while progressively tightening its grip on the political arena. News of the aid distribution follows recent reports that Israel – which has long maintained that the LAF is subservient to Hizbullah – lobbied the Trump Administration to condition the money on the terror group’s disarmament, particularly as regards its precision-guided missiles. The United Nations Security Council in 2006 tasked the LAF with ensuring that Hizbullah could not rearm in the aftermath of a devastating war with Israel. However, Tehran’s underling has since amassed some 130,000 projectiles, militarizing heavily populated areas and allegedly building weapons-manufacturing facilities throughout Lebanon.