Iran promises arms to Lebanese army, Riyadh pledges more aid

Tehran already supports Assad-allied Hezbollah militias

30 September, 18:47

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, SEPTEMBER 30 - Iran will be providing weapons to the Lebanese army to help it fight jihadist militants along the border with Syria, Supreme National Security Council Director Ali Shamkhani announced during a visit to the Lebanese capital. In December, Saudi Arabia, a Sunni powerhouse and regional rival to Shia Iran, pledged to provide three billion dollars to the poorly-equipped Lebanese army for the purchase of French weaponry. Riyadh later announced a billion dollars in additional aid, while the US provided the Lebanese armed forces with light weaponry. Shamkhani, who made the announcement after meeting with Lebanese prime minister Tammam Salam, did not give any details on the nature and quantity of the weapons to be supplied. He added that the agreement would be made official during an upcoming visit to Tehran by Lebanese defense minister Samir Mokbel. Iran is the main ally and supporter of the Lebanese Shia militias of Hezbollah, which many say possess military strength at least equal to that of the army and which are fighting in Syria alongside Syrian regime troops.

    After the visit to Beirut, Shamkhani left for Syria.

    (ANSAmed).

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