The Lebanese Army said Saturday it received a shipment of weapons and ammunition from the US as part of the American assistance program for the Army.
The Army received the shipment at Rafiq Al-Hariri Airport with the attendance of senior officials from the Lebanese Army and the US Defense Cooperation office in Lebanon, the Army said in a statement.
The US had over the past weeks handed over weapons and ammunition to the Lebanese Army and Security Forces, and pledged to send more with the objective of helping the government troops combat terrorism and maintain stability nationwide.
U.S. Ambassador David Hale Friday handed the Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil a memo detailing the United States arms and equipment shipment to the Lebanese Army.
According to the state-run National News Agency (NNA), Hale left the meeting without making any statement.
The Lebanese Army has received two shipments of rocket launchers and assault rifles from the U.S.
Hale has promised more arms, saying the shipments last week would be followed by unspecified heavy weaponry.
A source at the American Embassy had told The Daily Star that 1,500 M16s, more than 450 anti-tank guided missiles and 60 mortars delivered by the U.S. military last week were worth nearly $9 million.
Additional weaponry will be delivered by the U.S. Army as part of the $1 billion Saudi grant coordinated by former Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, the Embassy source added.
In a speech made at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Hale said the weapons were financed by American tax dollars. “This weaponry and ordnance is paid for by the American people,” he said. “Over the coming weeks, more ammunition and more heavy weaponry will be delivered from the United States to the Army.”
Source: NNA; The Daily Star