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US military aid to Lebanon continues amid protests

The Pentagon is not cutting off military aid to Lebanon amid countrywide protests.
Riot police stand guard behind barbed-wire next to the Government Palace during ongoing anti-government protests in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis - RC1E491C2D70

The Defense Department will continue sending military aid to Lebanon, a Pentagon spokesman told Al-Monitor, as nationwide demonstrations sparked by a proposed tax on WhatsApp calls continue. The United States hopes the demonstrations will force major economic reforms in the sectarian-ruled country.

US-backed Lebanese Armed Forces, or LAF, received nearly $105 million in Pentagon military aid over the past year, providing vehicles, ammunition and spare parts to service armed light-attack helicopters first sent to Beirut two years ago, according to congressional documents analyzed by the Security Assistance Monitor.

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