France to supply Lebanon with 100 anti-tank missiles

Shipment to be delivered by February with no conditions attached, French official says; letter of confirmation sent to PM Hariri.

shahin missile 2 311 (photo credit: AP)
shahin missile 2 311
(photo credit: AP)
France will supply 100 anti-tank missiles to Lebanon, a government official said Friday, confirming a deal that raised concerns in earlier this year, AFP reported.
"[Lebanese] Prime Minister Saad Hariri was informed on Wednesday of the French decision to supply the army with 100 ... HOT missiles that will be used by the military's Gazelle helicopters," the official told AFP.
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The official confirmed that "the missiles will be delivered before the end of February and are being given with no conditions attached."
A letter to that effect had been sent to Hariri, the office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon confirmed.
Israel and the US have attempted to prevent the arms deal saying that it could lead to increased Israeli casualties in any future confrontation.
The US State Department has been working since early August to allay the concerns of members of Congress who have put a hold on funding to the Lebanese military following the deadly border incident that left IDF Lt.-Col. (res.) Dov Harari dead.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has defended US military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces as something that’s “in [the US's] national interest and contributes to stability in the region.”