Trump administration withholding $105M in aid for Lebanon

The Trump administration is withholding military assistance to Lebanon following the resignation of the country's prime minister amid weeks of protests.

Two U.S. officials told Reuters that the State Department had informed Congress of the decision, though no explanation was given for the holdup, according to one official.


The State Department did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

While the reason for the freeze on military aid was unclear, U.S. officials have reportedly shown concern about the growing role in the country of the Iran-backed political party Hezbollah, which is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S.

Lebanon has been rocked by weeks of protests, with demonstrators shutting down major roads over allegations of widespread corruption in government and a newly announced tax on calls made using Whatsapp and other messaging services.

The country's prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, resigned on Tuesday, and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans US Olympic Committee urges Congress not to boycott Games in China Pompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' MORE has reportedly urged the country's leaders to form a new government quickly.

One U.S. official told the news service that the withdrawal of the U.S. security assistance would likely result in Russia moving in to offer aid in response, driving Lebanon's government closer politically to the Kremlin.