The United States is providing the Lebanese army with a consignment of laser-guided artillery shells in an $8.6 million arms package intended to help Lebanon defend against cross-border incursions from Syria, the U.S. embassy said on Friday.

The package, which includes 50 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 560 artillery rounds including the “precision munitions”, will boost the Lebanese army’s ability “to secure Lebanon’s borders against violent extremists,” it said in a statement.

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