News outlets are reporting that the U.S. government has approved a startling increase of military aid to Lebanon, increasing the size of the country’s potent assault helicopter force by an unprecedented 25%.
“Six Huey 2 helicopters have been delivered to Lebanon as part of bilateral military assistance,” [a diplomatic source] said on condition of anonymity.
The air force has 24 U.S. Huey helicopters and 11 French-made Gazelles, both of which can be equipped with guns and missiles.
Another diplomatic source informed Qifa Nabki that “the Huey-2 helicopter is a devastating weapon that sends good-for-nothings scurrying wherever it is deployed.”
As if this magnanimous sharing of sensitive military technology were not enough, the U.S. Embassy also confirmed that “last week, the U.S. gave a $29.8 million, 42-meter coastal security craft to the Lebanese Navy to patrol and protect Lebanon’s sea border.”
For background on the U.S.-Lebanese military relationship, here are some useful backgrounders from the Qifa Nabki archives (circa 2010):