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Saudis Pledge $3 Billion to Support Lebanon’s Army

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Saudis Pledge $3 Billion to Support

Lebanon’s Army

Grant Seeks to Bolster Armed Forces Against Iranian-Backed Hezbollah After Huge Attack

BEIRUT—Saudi Arabia pledged a $3 billion grant Sunday to strengthen Lebanon’s armed forces, intervening forcefully after a bloody week in Lebanese politics to bolster the country’s relatively weak army against Hezbollah, the Iranian-allied political group and militia that dominates Lebanon.

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman announced the Saudi gift on Lebanese national television, calling it the largest aid package ever to the country’s armed forces. The donation far exceeds the $1.7 billion Lebanese defense budget for 2012, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Center, and has potential to change the balance of power in Lebanon.

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