U.S. criticizes continued presence of Hezbollah in Lebanese government

WASHONGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration continues to criticize the Lebanese government for including Hezbollah in decision-making processes as the group continues to use its paramilitary forces to engage in regional wars in contravention of the Lebanese government’s “dissociation” policy.

In an explicit criticism of the Lebanese government, the U.S. highlighted the influence of Hezbollah on Lebanese politics and government as a primary reason for the country’s failure to emerge from the severe political and economic crises it is going through.

In a statement on Friday, the U.S. State Department indicated that Washington provided security assistance and training to the Lebanese Army, which it considers a partner in the International Coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), and worked with the Internal Security Forces to enhance their capabilities in combating terrorism and investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of crimes. However, groups classified by the U.S. as terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, are still active in Lebanon. Despite Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts, Hezbollah continues its military activities in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, said the State Department.

The State Department went on to state that, despite repeated requests by UNIFIL forces to access private properties in southern Lebanon, from which Hezbollah is suspected of having dug tunnels across the border into Israel and hiding or manufacturing weapons there, the Lebanese government has refused to allow UNIFIL to investigate these areas.