French president Fran├žois Hollande has approved the sale of defence and security equipment to Lebanon under a USD3 billion contract grant from Saudi Arabia to help it fight jihadis encroaching into Lebanon from Syria, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on 8 October. The French military equipment for Lebanon includes, VBC-90 armoured vehicle, Caesar 155mm howitzer, Mistral missile systems, AS 532 Cougar helicopter and and Combattante FS56 fast attack long range craft.

Lebanon, which is still rebuilding after its own 15-year civil war, has also seen clashes between gunmen loyal to opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, as well as militant strikes on the army and cross-border attacks by Syrian rebels.

Jihadis attacked and briefly seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal in August and since then the army has stepped up its efforts to prevent fighters, most notably from al Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front, from crossing into Lebanon. […]