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Anti-ISIS coalition army chiefs meet in Washington to find a strategy

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info, with agencies - October 15, 2014, 11h36
Obama meets with army chiefs from 22 countries, members of the international anti-ISIS coalition.
Army chiefs from the anti-ISIS coalition met in Washington on Tuesday to establish a common strategy against the Jihadists.
The first such meeting since the start of the war saw the coming together of army chiefs from 22 countries, members of the anti-ISIS coalition. The meeting, which was also attended by American President Barack Obama, took place as the coalition continued airstrikes against Jihadists near the Syrian town of Kobani.

Lebanese army chief, Jean Kahwagi, also attended the meeting. An anonymous source in the Lebanese army told the Daily Star “we are participating as a country who receives military aid and training from the United States. And also because our army is regularly confronted with terrorism on Lebanese territory.”

Jihadists from the al-Nusra front fought with the Lebanese army near Arsal this summer, with around thirty soldiers kidnapped as a result. Three of whom have already been executed and the Lebanese government refuses to exchange them for Al-Nusra prisoners currently detained in Roumieh prison.

“However, we have nothing to do with decisions taken during this meeting” the source confirmed to the Daily Star.

Over the past few weeks the Lebanese army has been receiving shipments of arms from the US to help deal with jihadists on the northern border.

""The United States has always stood in support of Lebanon's security and stability. We agree with Lebanon's leaders that the state, through the LAF, must be capable of safeguarding Lebanon from the potential acts of terror and violence these groups bring.“ US ambassador David Hale, said in August as fighting between Lebanese army soldiers and al-Nusra front militants necessitated international help for the Lebanese military.

He added. “Our deliveries are part of a long-standing U.S.-Lebanese military partnership; U.S. assistance has exceeded $1 billion since 2006. Since just last October, the United States has provided more than $120 million worth of training and equipment to the LAF to strengthen its role as the sole legitimate defender of Lebanon's sovereignty. “

At the end of August 480 anti-tank guided missiles, more than 500 M16-A4 rifles, and many mortars, one thousand M16-A4 rifles. Soon, more mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons were delivered to Lebanon from the US.

"Lebanon asks, and America delivers,” Hale affirmed.

The US and Saudi Arabia carried out 21 airstrikes on Monday and Tuesday near Kobani, which have “slowed” the group’s advancement, the American military said, according to AFP.
Tags
#Lebanon, #Lebanese_army, #US
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