US tells Lebanon army: 'You can count on our support'

The United States has pledged continued support to Lebanon's army, which has been fighting a vicious battle against al-Qaida-inspired Islamist militants. The pledge came during a visit by top US commander in the Middle East, Adm. William Fallon, head of the US Central Command, who met separately with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, Defense Minister Elias Murr and army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman in brief trip to Lebanon Wednesday. In a statement after the meetings, US Ambassador to Beirut Jeffrey Feltman praised Lebanon's efforts and reiterated "the strength of the strategic partnership between the United States and Lebanon." "Lebanon, you can count on us to support the aspirations of the heroic LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces)," Feltman said.