Lebanon’s army will soon receive military equipment as part of a $1 billion grant from Saudi Arabia to help it fight Islamist militants encroaching into Lebanon from Syria, former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday.

Hariri, who has close links to the Saudi royal family, originally announced the deal after visiting King Abdullah in August, just days after Islamist militants attacked and briefly seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal.

The Lebanese army has since stepped up its efforts to prevent fighters, most notably from al Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front, from crossing into Lebanon, but it is ill-equipped and has repeatedly called for more military aid. […]