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Lebanon reaps weapons windfall from Congress

The tiny state has gone from pariah to partner thanks to the Islamic State.
Members of the Lebanese Army's airborne regiment perform a live drill, held as part of a weapons exhibition during the Security Middle East Show in Beirut, as a sandstorm engulfed Lebanon for a second day September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir - RTSBDO
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Tiny Lebanon is seeing its fortunes surge on Capitol Hill as fear of the Islamic State (IS) supplants any lingering concerns about Hezbollah.

Congress over the past year has approved more than $1 billion in proposed arms sales for the Lebanese armed forces, including attack aircraft and helicopters. And lawmakers on Sept. 29 cemented Beirut's status as a key ally with the release of a compromise annual defense bill that puts Lebanon on equal footing with longtime partner Jordan.

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