US gives Lebanon new Cessna aircraft to help fight militancy

AP , Monday 19 Dec 2016

The United States has delivered a new Cessna aircraft to the Lebanese army to help the tiny Arab country fight militancy and conduct border security missions.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard said during the handover ceremony at Beirut's international airport on Monday that Washington "is proud" to handover the aircraft, the third in the Lebanese army's air force.

A U.S. Embassy statement said the Cessna is equipped with Hellfire missiles and day- and night-targeting systems.

It says the aircraft is part of a "total package" that includes maintenance support and training with a combined value of about $30 million.

Washington has been a major supporter of Lebanon's army, which is fighting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's Syrian branch in border areas.

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