US announces new assistance to Lebanese military



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BEIRUT (AP) — The United States has announced new assistance to the Lebanese military including helicopters and other advanced military equipment.

The new assistance package was disclosed during a visit by the head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel to Lebanon on Wednesday during which he met with the army chief and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Speaking after the meeting in Beirut, American Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said the package, valued at more than $120 million, includes six new light attack helicopters, six unmanned aerial vehicles and communication and night vision devices.

She said the equipment will help the army "build on its steady strong capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations."

Washington has been a major supporter of Lebanon's army, and has provided more than $1 billion in military assistance to Lebanon since 2006.

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The Associated Press

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