The Lebanese army has been test-firing new anti-armour missiles provided by the U.S. to help battle jihadists near border with Syria. Nathan Frandino reports.
Not far from Lebanon's border with Syria, the Lebanese army and U.S. officials are flexing their muscles. Lebanon has just taken delivery of new TOW-II anti-armor and bunker buster missiles. They're part of an aid package from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to help Lebanon fight jihadists on the border. U.S. Ambassador David Hale says the shipment included more than 200 missiles. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR DAVID HALE SAYING: "This equipment has a value of over 10 million dollars.'' The Lebanese army has regularly fought militants linked to Islamic State and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. Those same hardline groups are also fighting the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah inside Syria. Hale says the shipment is part of a long-term commitment to Lebanon's security. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR DAVID HALE SAYING: ''We do that because we are absolutely committed to making sure that the army has the capacity to be the sole defender of Lebanese territory and its border and it is answerable to the state and to the Lebanese people through the state." It's also part of a U.S effort to maintain stability in an increasingly unstable Middle East.