France has granted a slice of military aid estimated at 14 million euros (17.2 million dollars) to the Lebanese army.
“The French government has granted 14 million euros of military aid to the Lebanese army,” said yesterday, Thursday, March 8, one of the officials at the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
This aid includes a hundred HOT missiles (anti-tank missiles) and several associated equipment (simulators, spare parts …).
France plans to train the Lebanese Armed Forces, particularly in the area of combating IEDs (improvised explosive devices). It also provides the Lebanese army with a series of equipment specific to certain units, such as snipers, mountain troops and intervention forces, reports AFP.
According to this French official, the purpose of this aid is to strengthen the Lebanese institutions and the country’s security.
The equipment of the Lebanese army is restricted to deal with instability all along its borders with Syria. As a result, Lebanon is trying to modernize its military equipment.
“Riyadh no longer wants to invest billions of dollars in Lebanon and the current Saudi leadership does not show as much interest in establishing the same relations of the past with Beirut. Therefore, we are at a stage where we are trying to help the Lebanese army to be strengthened, “he said.
The Saudi regime has decided to suspend military aid for the Lebanese army and the Internal Security Forces (ISF). The reason is “Lebanon’s hostility toward Saudi Arabia, including that of Hezbollah, which appropriates the Lebanese state”.
In response to this decision by Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance movement, Hezbollah, believes that the Saudi decision is not surprising.
“It reveals the real politics of the kingdom, that of sponsoring terrorism and sowing splits throughout the Arab-Muslim world,” reads the statement of Hezbollah.
Still according to Hezbollah, “the whole world knows very well that Saudi Arabia is suffering from an acute financial crisis because of its military interference in Yemen and the decline in oil prices it has caused.”
Lebanese legislative elections are due to be held in Lebanon in May amidst security tensions linked in particular to the Syrian crisis raging in the country of Cedar.