U.S. secretary of state heads to Turkey after short visit to Lebanon

U.S. secretary of state heads to Turkey after short visit to Lebanon

Lebanon is a big recipient of US military support. The YPG is the main USA ally in the fight against Islamic State militants.

"We try to be very precise in the actions we take to not harm the Lebanese people", he said during an interview with Al Hurra TV. On Wednesday, speaking in Amman, Tillerson had appearing to soften Washington's tone, conceding that Hezbollah is part of the "political process" in Lebanon.

"We hope the message reaches the White House", he added.

Israel has accused Iran of seeking to set up weapons factories in Lebanon, and the Israeli military last month said the country had turned into one "large missile factory".

Israel has recently escalated its threats over Lebanon's invitation for offshore gas exploration bids along the disputed maritime border. Lebanon says part of the wall follows the UN-demarcated "Blue Line" that was drawn up after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, and insists some sections will cut into its territory.


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is urging Hezbollah to cease its activities overseas to help reduce tensions in the region. Hezbollah, branded a "terrorist" organisation by the United States, is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has fighters on the ground in the war-torn country supporting the regime.

Lebanon is also protesting Israeli violations of Israeli airspace, often to bomb targets inside neighboring Syria.

Aoun urged the United States to "work on preventing Israel from continuing its assaults on Lebanese sovereignty" by land and sea, a statement from the presidency said. Lebanese officials contest those claims, saying the area where it plans to drill belongs to Lebanon.

The U.S Secretary of State will also seek to discuss with Lebanese officials the Trump administration's intensified efforts to curtail Hezbollah's influence in the region, amid the introduction of amended legislation targetting the Iranian backed militant group's financial network that passed in October 2017.

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