WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate is reportedly discussing a potential stoppage of U.S. aid to the Lebanese government if it continues to bend to the pressures of Hezbollah. Meanwhile, two Lebanese brothers living in the state of Minnesota in the U.S. admitted to smuggling spare parts of U.S. drones to Hezbollah.
Sources at the Lebanese Embassy in Washington stated that they had taken note of discussions in the Senate aimed at gaining support for a U.S. aid stoppage in order to restrict the power of Hezbollah in the country.
U.S. aid to Lebanon is limited to non-military aid in the health, education, and development sectors.
It is not the first time the Senate has discussed such a stoppage. Similar legislation has been passed before, including the classification of Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization which hampered its ability to open international bank accounts.
However, targeting the Lebanese government with the suspension of aid in an effort to pressure it to confront Hezbollah’s influence would be an escalation in U.S. efforts to combat the organization.
In related news, a Lebanese national in the U.S. state of Minnesota admitted to exporting U.S. drone parts to Lebanese Hezbollah less than a month after his brother confessed conspiring in the same case.
Prosecutors stated that the two brothers obtained advanced technology of U.S. drones from 2009 to 2013 and illegally exported them to Lebanese Hezbollah.
It was reported that the two brothers were arrested in South Africa in February 2000 and were extradited to the U.S. last fall.