British, Lebanese armed forces hold largest ever joint military exercises

British, Lebanese armed forces hold largest ever joint military exercises
The UK and Lebanon will hold a 10-day joint exercise, the biggest ever military collaboration between the two countries.
2 min read
13 September, 2023
These are the biggest ever joint exercises to take place between the UK and Lebanon [Getty/archive image]

The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday the start of joint military exercises with the Lebanese army that will last for 10 days.

Exercise Pegasus-Cedar is the largest military collaboration to ever happen between the UK and Lebanon.

They will take place at the Dani Harb Barracks in Ghosta, a hilltop town 36 km northeast of Beirut.

"More than 65 military personnel from the British Army’s Second Battalion 'The Parachute Regiment' (2 PARA) will conduct a fully integrated combined military exercise with their Lebanese counterparts, the Air Assault Regiment, and supported by the Lebanese Air Force," the UK government website announced.

"British and Lebanese troops will practice tactical skills including Weapons Handling, Range Shoots, Reconnaissance and Close Quarters Battle.  Troops will also train with the Lebanese Air Force conducting air support serials and helicopter insertion and extraction techniques," the UK government said.

"The exercise will culminate in two Field Training Exercises. The exercise will test and enhance the capability of both countries’ troops in a challenging environment," it added.

Britain’s Ambassador to Lebanon Hamish Cowell described the exercises as a "landmark moment," adding that British military training teams continue to work alongside their Lebanese counterparts and provide support.

"The Lebanese Armed Forces has been and remains at the forefront of safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability throughout many challenging times including the current economic crisis. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Lebanese friends as they perform these vital tasks," said Cowell.

The UK has provided Lebanon with millions of dollars’ worth of military aid. It funded the construction of watchtowers along Lebanon’s border with Syria which helped Lebanese troops monitor the frontier with its war-torn neighbour, which has not yet been demarcated.

Lebanon’s military has been affected by the country’s four-year long financial crisis - one of the worst in world history - with many soldiers having to work extra jobs amid the collapse of the Lebanese lira and hyperinflation.

Lebanon's biggest military donor is the United States.