Trump said Lebanon fights Hezbollah ... it's actually part of the government

Joseph Aoun

General Joseph Aoun

President Michel Aoun is an ally of the militant group, which is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even while Lebanon absorbs scores of refugees displaced by Syria's intractable civil war. "I want to congratulate American people because we're going to give you great health care". Trump's suggestion of increasing the power of the Lebanese government's military as a way to sideline Hezbollah, one of its ruling parties then, makes little sense.

The LAF's complicity in Hezbollah's criminal activity is most evident in Syria, where Hezbollah recently claimed several victories against Sunni jihadists in the Lebanon-Syria border region, with the help the Lebanese army. And Mr. Prime Minister, it's an honor to have you in the Oval Office.

"We are seeking to develop partnership with the bank (World Bank) to be able to improve the Lebanese economy, particularly at this hard stage, whether in respect to growth in Lebanon or the deficit from which we are suffering in light of the presence of the displaced Syrians", he added.

PRIME MINISTER HARIRI: It's an honor to be here with you, Mr. President. Last year, the Barack Obama administration requested $105 million in military assistance for the Lebanese army. "And we have an understanding with Hezbollah", Hariri said.

"Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah", Trump said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.

Many members of Congress have traditionally been skeptical of the LAF, arguing that Hezbollah exerts too much influence on Lebanon's security apparatus.

"What will the Lebanese government do but rush to the USA urging it to preserve its investment in that extraordinary partner in the war against terrorism, and to intervene to stop Israel from destroying the Lebanese state".

Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement seems to be very committed to end terrorism in the Lebanon's eastern mountains. "So it's very crucial". Rather, the cuts are part of Trump's across-the-board effort to reduce USA foreign aid.

Solutions to the Syrian conflict such as the US-Russian brokered ceasefire in the country's southwest have to be given a chance to work, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Wednesday.

The State Department's budget proposal only preserves FMF for Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan while eliminating it for everyone else.

Hariri also said he felt the president understood continued support is important, even with the Trump administration's plans to slash US foreign aid. "It's a very effective fighting force".

The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization. "The group continues to increase its military arsenal, which threatens to start yet another conflict with Israel, constantly fighting them back". Initially, it was reportedly limited to non-lethal aid and training; later leaks in the media indicated various weaponry was also supplied to groups considered moderate. The sanctions would expand previous congressional sanctions from 2015 by blocking the assets of any individual or entity that supports Hezbollah or its affiliates.

While the USA and its allies view the group as a terrorist outfit, Lebanon does not.

It remains unclear what the final legislation would look like or whether Republican leadership will be able to muster enough votes to get it to Trump's desk. "Because it does mention some other Hezbollah institutions, thus making sure it also covers countries outside Lebanon, not just Lebanon".

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