World

U.S. official rejects Israeli demands on aid for Lebanese army

Photo: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

A senior State Department official has rejected Israeli criticism regarding U.S. assistance to the Lebanese armed forces, as well as the Israeli demand to condition the aid on the Lebanese government acting against Hezbollah’s precision missile factories.

Why it matters: The U.S. gives the Lebanese army around $105 million a year and supports it with training and equipment. Israel is concerned that the Lebanese army is infiltrated by Hezbollah and that any U.S. assistance to the Lebanese army will end up in the terror organization’s hands.

George Kent defends colleagues against anti-immigrant attacks in impeachment testimony

George Kent, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, ended his opening statement in the House's public impeachment hearing on Wednesday by defending some of his colleagues against anti-immigrant attacks.

The big picture: Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former Trump administration Russia expert Fiona Hill all were born abroad and immigrated to the U.S. — either as children or adults. Each will publicly testify in the impeachment inquiry in the coming days.