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Pompeo calls for review of security assistance to Lebanon

The State Department and congressional hawks are taking a second look at US support for the Lebanese Armed Forces after Hezbollah and its allies won a parliamentary majority in this month’s elections.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies at a hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis - RC195AD591D0

Mike Pompeo used his first official appearance before Congress as secretary of state to call for a review of US military assistance for Lebanon following Hezbollah’s gains in this month’s elections.

Washington has long relied on the Lebanese Armed Forces as a bulwark against the Iran-backed Shiite paramilitary group’s influence in the divided country. But critics of the army’s unwillingness to confront the group, which plays a dominant role in Lebanese politics, are gaining traction as the Donald Trump administration pursues a more aggressive stance against Tehran.

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