US cuts $105 million in military aid to Lebanon
The United States has decided to withhold $105 million in military aid for Lebanon, two officials said on Thursday.
The State Department told Congress that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to cut foreign military assistance, the US officials told Reuters.
The officials did not say why the aid was blocked, with the State Department declining to comment.
Israeli officials on Wednesday had asked allies to condition aid to Lebanon on efforts to disarm Hezbollah.
Read more: Lebanon scrabbles to avert imminent economic collapse
"In discreet talks with various capitals, we made it clear that any aid meant to guarantee the stability of Lebanon needs to be conditioned on Lebanon dealing with Hezbollah's precision-guided missiles," a senior official said, according to The Times of Israel.
One US official cited by Reuters said the security assistance was critical for Lebanon as it struggles with internal instability and thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria.
The aid included night vision goggles and weapons used for border security.
Washington has long provided aid to strengthen Lebanon's army, viewing it as a critical institution to provide stability in the country.
The US has also repeatedly expressed concerns over the growing role of Hezbollah in the government.
Lebanon's prime minister Saad Hariri submitted his government's resignation on Tuesday, bowing to nearly two weeks of unprecedented nationwide protests against corruption and sectarianism.
Protesters have insisted on a complete overhaul of the country's sectarian-based governance and celebrated the emergence of a national civic identity.
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab