Trump Praises Lebanon's PM for Fighting Hezbollah - but They're His Political Allies

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Wednesday that the group was close to defeating Nusra Front militants in the battle along the Syrian-Lebanese border. He added, "We have done more than we are able to bear in this conflict".

President Donald Trump thanked Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri for fighting terror groups in the Middle East, including Hezbollah. "And we have an understanding with Hezbollah", Hariri said.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah, a USA -designated foreign terrorist organization, announced it was on the verge of ousting the Sunni terrorists from the area, and it called on those surviving to surrender to avoid further bloodshed. And despite Trump's apparent confusion over Hezbollah, the "administration understand very well the position of Lebanon", Hariri said.

"Lebanon is on the frontlines against the terrorism of ISIS, al-Qaida and Hizbullah", Trump went on to say.

The LAF's complicity in Hezbollah's criminal activity is most evident in Syria, where Hezbollah recently claimed several victories against Sunni jihadists in the Lebanon-Syria border region, with the help the Lebanese army. "In fact, Hezbollah controls the government of which Hariri is prime minister".

Trump also pledged additional support for the Lebanese army and hailed its role in the fight against IS and other terrorist groups.

The prime minister and I have just concluded an extensive conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing Lebanon and its neighbors.

This became clear, during a Tuesday press conference that took place after he met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is now on an official trip to the U.S. 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. But he added that militant demands remained unreasonable and that the Lebanese state, the Syrian government, and Hezbollah must each agree to the terms.

After their oval meeting, Hariri and Trump held a press conference where everything seemed to be going according to plan until the USA president was asked about Hezbollah - a political and military organization, who's also part of the Lebanese parliament. ISIS in Syria, ISIS in Iraq, we have made tremendous strides, our military is an incredible fighting force.

Whilst the group is Lebanese, it is strongly backed by Iran, and its political wing is very influential within the country.

Hariri, meanwhile, expressed his hope that USA military aid would continue to provide support, especially given Trump's "huge understanding" about helping Lebanon's army.

Hariri had on Monday met at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington with the Lebanese staff at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, his media office said in a statement.