A ship loaded down with $25 million worth of US weaponry, mostly artillery, has arrived in Beirut today, the first shipment of US military aid to Lebanon to fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.
“This is the best that there is in the marketplace,” insisted US Ambassador David Hale, who promise more shipments to Lebanon “until the job is done” in the ongoing war.
Hale says the shipment makes Lebanon the fifth-largest recipient of direct US military aid on the planet, with over $1 billion in arms sent in the last eight years and apparent plans to escalate as the war spreads across the border.
The US has been unwilling to give any official show of support to Syria, which is bearing the brunt of the ISIS fight, but seems to feel more comfortable bankrolling Iraq and Lebanon as a way of getting more involved in the war while keeping its distance from Syria.
Lebanon’s involvement in the war is fairly minor, with only intermittent clashes along the Syrian border. Despite this, the war has also fueled sectarian tensions inside Lebanon, and US weaponry also risks getting involved in that.