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US government releases military aid for Lebanon

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The US government has released a large subsidy to the military in Lebanon, which it apparently held back for months for criticizing the influence of the Shiite Hezbollah militia.

The White House budget office has now released the $ 100 million (90.8 million euros) in military aid, two US State Department and US Congress officials said yesterday in Washington. The money will be transferred soon.

The administration of US President Donald Trump had not commented on why the funds were being held back. It had recently urged the Lebanese government to distance itself from Hezbollah.

Involved in government

Hezbollah was involved in the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned in late October for mass protests. The militia has made bloody attacks and waged war against Israel on several occasions.

State Department number three, David Hale, had confirmed the blockade of military aid in November when he testified under oath during the congressional impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine affair. According to him, relief funds for Ukraine and Lebanon had been „frozen“ in June without any explanation.

The Democrats blame President Trump for calling on Ukraine to investigate ex-vice-president and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. As a means of pressure Trump is said to have used, among other things, a week-long detained military aid of nearly 400 million dollars to Kiev.