Trump Slams Hezbollah After Praising Its Anti-ISIS Operation

Prime Minister Saad al Hariri meets with a delegation from the US Senate in Washington

Katz said that with Iran's assistance, "Hezbollah has fueled the humanitarian disaster in Syria, and the organization likes to portray itself as the defender of Lebanon while in fact it is very clear that its true interests are those of itself and of its patron, Iran". "We also approved the salary scale with all the reforms that were included", added the PM.

Hezbollah's effective control over Lebanon will undermine President Donald Trump's efforts to counter all terror threats in the Middle East, an expert on Lebanon argued in an analysis published Wednesday in Tablet Magazine.

"Hezbollah is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people and the entire region", Trump said while standing beside Hariri. "For me, stability is the most essential part of my role in Lebanon", Hariri said during a lecture he gave at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

That impression was only solidified today, when he loudly condemned Hezbollah as threatening to start a war with Israel, and lumping them in with ISIS and al-Qaeda, despite those being the groups Hezbollah is fighting against in Syria.

"We believe that dialogue is the best way (of) improving this relationship between Saudi Arabia and Qatar", Hariri said.

Hariri was expected to seek additional US aid to help deal with the flood of Syrian refugees who now make up about a quarter of Lebanon's population of 6 million people, reports The Associated Press.

As soon as the fighting ends, the Shi'ite Iranian-backed Hezbollah would be ready to hand over territory it has captured if the Lebanese army requests it, he said.

Syrian children stand near their tent at a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal, Lebanon, on Monday, November 18, 2013. In 2015, General Lloyd Austin, CENTCOM commander at the time, told Congress that only four or five US-trained fighters had actually gone to Syria to battle IS, out of the 5,000 the Pentagon had envisaged. And Mr. Prime Minister, it's an honor to have you in the Oval Office.

On Friday, Hezbollah worked with Syrian forces to push Islamist radicals off the Lebanese border. Syrian refugees make up about 25 percent of Lebanon's population of some 6 million people. But asked how, exactly, the United States can help Lebanon cope with the massive number of refugees, Trump answered, "Well, we are helping".

Officials in Lebanon have raised concerns that US efforts to widen sanctions on Hezbollah could damage the banking industry because of the group's widespread influence in their country.

The Lebanese PM said he discussed the proposed sanctions with Trump and will meet with U.S. lawmakers later this week.

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