The Lebanese Army received a shipment of Chinese weapons Friday, the latest in a recent series of international arms deliveries to help Lebanon contain the militants on its eastern border with Syria, Lebanon’s Daily Star reports. The Army statement did not specify what types of weapons and ammunition, or the quantity of the arms, were included in the shipment, which arrived in Beirut’s port before noon. [nonmember]Financed by Saudi grants worth about US$4 Billion, Lebanon has recently purchased weapons from France, USA, Italy and Brazil.[/nonmember] [ismember]The Lebanese Army has been shelling militant positions for months on its northeastern border where ISIS and Nusra Front fighters are holed up. In recent weeks there has been debate over whether the Army should enter Arsal’s outskirts to oust militants who are holding Lebanon’s 25 servicemen hostage. The militants have been based in the mountains surrounding Arsal since spring 2014, when they were driven by Hezbollah and the Syrian army from major Qalamoun cities.

Lebanon in April received the first batch of French weapons financed by the $3 billion Saudi arms grant, which included armored vehicles, helicopters, truck-mounted cannons and Milan anti-tank missiles. In addition to the $3 billion military aid, Saudi Arabia has also promised an additional $1 billion grant to purchase arms and equipment to the Lebanese Army and security forces to help them in the ongoing battle against militants.

The Army has also received a series of U.S. weapons shipments. Earlier this month, the Lebanese Army has received a shipment of anti-tank missiles from the U.S. government. The shipment included an untold number of BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles and their launch pads.

[/ismember]Across the border with Syria, Hezbollah and the Syrian army Friday struck at militant positions inside Zabadani at the southern end of Qalamoun, on the third day of an offensive aimed at capturing the strategic Syrian town. The forces blocked the main road north of Zabadani to isolate the area from the Qalamoun towns of Serghaya and Ain Hor. Zabadani bears strategic significance for Hezbollah since it once served as a logistical hub for supplying Hezbollah with Iranian weapons. It also served as a base for party fighters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.[ismember]

4e390d3fc27c495ea577fa544ecedde6_18The attack included heavy artillery and rocket bombardments as well as air strikes using improvised barrel bombs. The battle erupted Wednesday, as Hezbollah engaged in fierce clashes with Syrian rebels in Zabadani in a fresh push to seize the last militant stronghold along Lebanon’s eastern border. In addition, large quantities of weapons and ammunition were sent into Lebanon’s eastern mountain range, to strengthen the Lebanese forces fighting the rebels in Lebanon.

The decision to launch an offensive came after negotiations with rebels failed to secure the militants’ withdrawal from the area, which is located 50 kilometers northwest of Damascus and 12 kilometers northeast of Lebanon’s Masnaa border crossing.[/ismember]