Confirming the release of U.S. aid to the Lebanese Armed Force (LAF), a senior U.S. diplomat acknowledged that “there were some disagreements about the efficacy of U.S. aid to the LAF”, but added that the LAF “is a national institution. It defends Lebanon’s borders. It is an excellent partner to the U.S. in counterterrorism, in fighting Sunni jihadi Islamists. They have developed in recent years a high level of capability on that regard”. He added that “they have responded in recent weeks… in impressive fashion in terms of protecting demonstrators from violence, demonstrating, I think, the fact that they are a national institution”. The senior diplomat also noted that “there are detractors who would point to incidents, isolated incidents, of deconfliction with Hizbollah in certain areas. But this is an institution that nonetheless has great merit”.
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