US military aid arrives in Lebanon
LAF to receive vehicles, small, unmanned Raven aircraft system to fight terror. (The Media Line)
By THE MEDIA LINE NEWS AGENCY
March 24, 2009 13:39
1 minute read.
(photo credit: AP)
The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) on Monday received a shipment of American military vehicles as part of an aid package agreed upon between the two countries following a 10-day visit to Washington last month by Lebanese Army Commander Jean Kahwaji, The Daily Star Lebanon reported.
The paper reported LAF would also receive the small, unmanned Raven aircraft system to help the army boost border control and fight terrorism. The Raven carries a color electro-optical camera and an infrared camera for night operations but cannot carry weaponry as more advanced unarmed aircrafts do.
On Friday, 30 senior members of the LAF graduated from a month-long training course by US Special Operations Forces. In addition to being trained in marksmanship and battlefield medicine, the LAF participants were also trained to be instructors so they would be able to teach others what they have learned.
"The overall goal of the US military assistance to Lebanon is to strengthen the LAF and increase its capacity to defend Lebanon's territory," according to a statement by the United States embassy in Lebanon.
Since 2006, the US has provided over $410 million in equipment and training to the LAF. However, due to concerns that the weaponry might end up in the hands of the Iranian-backed Hizbullah, which the US lists as a terror organization, the military aid that Lebanon has received has mostly been low-level, such as transport vehicles and communication equipment.
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