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    Lebanese army soldiers open fire during clashes with Islamic militants in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon.

    Britain Reaffirms Support for Lebanese Army: UK Embassy

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    The British government has provided over $273 million financial aid to Lebanon, the press service of the UK embassy in Lebanon told Sputnik.

    BEIRUT, December 1 (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom is strongly committed to stability in Lebanon and reaffirmed its support for the country's armed forces, the UK embassy in Lebanon told Sputnik Monday.

    "The UK is strongly committed to Lebanon's stability… Practical UK support for Lebanon's stability has increased tenfold over the last two years. The UK Government has given over $273 million to help build stability, and to support Lebanon," the press service of the UK embassy in Lebanon told Sputnik.

    "UK support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is part of the UK-Lebanon five-point stability package that was announced in July 2013," the embassy explained, adding that Britain had already delivered 164 Land Rovers, 1,500 sets of body armor, a secure radio communication network, border watchtowers, and HESCO bastion ballistic protection for the LAF.

    Moreover, in November this year the UK parliament approved an additional £3.6 million ($5.57 million) of equipment for the Land Border Regiments of the LAF that deter illegal military activities near the country's border.

    On November 30, British daily newspaper, The Telegraph, disclosed that a clandestine British team had built 12 towers along the Lebanese border with Syria to prevent Islamic State militants from advancing into the Christian town of Ras Baalbek, northern Lebanon.

    The daily cited Tom Fletcher, the British ambassador to Lebanon, as saying that the watchtowers had been built to prevent a massacre at Ras Baalbek.

    The Islamic State militant group has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group, which mainly targets ethnic and religious minorities, expanded its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control. A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against IS positions in Syria and Iraq.

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    financial aid, Lebanon, Syria, Britain
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