France’s defense minister, Sebastien Lecornu, announced that France will provide the Lebanese army with a substantial number of armored vehicles to enhance its capacity for effective patrol missions within Lebanon. He emphasized the importance of strengthening the Lebanese national army to facilitate better coordination with the United Nations peacekeeping force, especially given the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
Lecornu stressed the need to bolster the Lebanese national army to ensure effective coordination with the United Nations peacekeeping force, particularly as tensions escalate between Israel and Iran-supported Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
He indicated that they would continue to advance their partnership by providing military equipment, particularly for the transportation of troops with armor protection, underscoring the importance of sustaining patrols. This suggests that the Lebanese army could expect to receive a substantial number of armored vehicles in the near future.
Paris will supply medications and is initiating a joint initiative to procure medical provisions at affordable rates for the Lebanese army in the future. France, drawing upon its historical ties with Lebanon, has endeavored to ease tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, although violence has escalated. Approximately 700 French soldiers are part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), established in 1978 after clashes along the Israel-Lebanon border.
Hezbollah, a Shi’ite Muslim armed group, holds significant influence in Lebanon, a nation grappling with a faltering economy and a struggling state apparatus. Lebanese officials are concerned that confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel could escalate into a major conflict.
Additionally, France is in discussions with Egypt about establishing a military medical center with surgical capabilities for seriously injured individuals in the neighboring Gaza Strip.
France, along with several other Western countries, has expressed strong support for Israel following the initiation of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7th and the subsequent outbreak of the Gaza-Israel conflict. French President Emmanuel Macron visited Israel on October 24th to convey “solidarity” with Tel Aviv in its conflict with the Gaza Strip.
The country has attempted to leverage its longstanding connection with Lebanon to mediate and alleviate tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. However, the situation has witnessed an upsurge in violence despite these efforts.