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U.S. military assistance delivered to Lebanese Army

BEIRUT | - August 30, 2014, 12h07
The Lebanese Army on Friday received at the air-base of Rafic Hariri International Airport a large quantity of weapons and ammunitions as a grant from the US authorities, in presence of senior military officers and the US ambassador David Hale.
"Support for the Lebanese army and other security services is a top priority for the U.S," Hale said.

"Lebanon asks, and America delivers,” he added.

On August 2, extremists attacked in Arsal. On August 3, I met with General Kahwagi and asked what America could do to help. After coordinating with Prime Minister Salam, Defense Minister Moqbil and other leaders, we acted. We moved to supply the Army with the weapons and the ammunition it asked for and that it needs to secure Lebanon’s borders and defeat these extremist groups that threaten Lebanon’s security.

"Two weeks ago, I informed the Prime Minister and Defense Minister that the American response would begin within weeks," Hale stated.

And we kept that promise. This is just the latest in a series of deliveries that have arrived in the last 36 hours.

Yesterday: 480 anti-tank guided missiles, more than 500 M16-A4 rifles, and many mortars. Today: one thousand M16-A4 rifles. Soon, more mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons will be arriving.

And over the coming weeks, more ammunition and more heavy weaponry will be delivered from the United States to the Army. The Embassy will not be making press statements after every shipment arrives, but I can assure you deliveries will be constant, just as our partnership with Lebanon has been constant over the years.

This weaponry and ordnance is paid for by the American people.

My team and I are working very closely with the Army – on a daily basis – to ensure that we deliver exactly what the Army urgently needs.

To those who say American assistance to the Army is not sophisticated enough, my answer is: go ask a soldier in Arsal, or at Rayak, or at the HQ in Yarze, or at the countless other places where the Army works to keep all Lebanese safe and secure. The answer you will get from that soldier is that he needs exactly what we are providing today and in the weeks to come.

We are also discussing with the Army how to meet additional needs, and I will have more to say about that soon.
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