Report: U.S. to continue Lebanon army support despite fatal Israel border clash
Last month, U.S. lawmakers sought to block Lebanon military aid over incident which resulted in the death of an IDF officer, 3 Lebanese soldiers.
The U.S. administration will continue to provide funding to the Lebanese army, despite recent calls to halt promised U.S. aid in the wake of a deadly assault on Israeli soldiers at the Israel-Lebanon border last month, the Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported Saturday.
Last Month, an IDF reserves battalion commander was killed as well as three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist as Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire on the border in the most serious clash since the Second Lebanon War 2006.
Soon after the incident, U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey and Howard Berman, announced they were holding up $100 million that has been approved for Lebanon's army but not yet spent. A senior House Republican, Eric Cantor, said future funding should be stopped too, pending an inquiry.
"This incident was tragic and entirely avoidable. U.S. assistance is intended to enhance our safety and that of our allies. On August 3, I placed a hold on 2010 assistance to Lebanon in the wake of this outrageous incident," said Lowey, who chairs the House subcommittee on foreign aid.
On Saturday, however, An-Nahar reported that Washington intended to continue its military support of the Lebanese Armed Forces, saying the United States was due to move ahead with a planned $700 million armament scheme.
The report stated that the reason for the decision to provide Beirut with the promised funds was the LAF's success in recent years in stabilizing the turbulent country, as well as its conduct, which U.S. sources feel was conducive to the current relative calm.
Moreover, the United States, according to the report, had also reached the conclusion that the Lebanese military had indeed lived up to its vow to make sure none of the arms it receives be used by any other Lebanese group, a likely reference to Hezbollah.