The Trump administration quietly lifted the hold on military aid worth $105 million for Lebanon, after it was blocked for months without any particular reason, senior administration officials said.

The delay in releasing funds raised questions from Lebanon's government and from Congress. It was likened to the Ukraine aid hold-up, which sparked a full-blown impeachment inquiry against President Trump. However, there is currently no proof that Trump benefited in anyway by the aid to Lebanon being held up.

Congress was informed on Oct. 31, by the U.S. State Department, about the White House budget office (OMB) and National Security Council's decision to hold up funds over $100 million in foreign military assistance, without providing any explanation.

Members of Congress and U.S. Diplomats had strongly opposed the move to withhold the military aid, citing the instability and unrest in the country demanding the military be assisted to take control of the situation.

While no explanation was provided by the OMB even on Monday, it is speculated that the delay may have been related to Hezbollah's powerful role in the Lebanese government. 

According to a senior administration official, the administration "continually reviews and thoroughly evaluates the effectiveness of all United States foreign assistance to ensure that funds go toward activities that further U.S. foreign policy and national security interests, and do not directly or indirectly benefit our adversaries."

The hold on the fund was lifted last Wednesday by the OMB and the government began finalizing contracts for how the fund should be spent.

A senior state department official pointed out to the recent comments made by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale when asked for an explanation. Hale had said in congressional testimony that there had been some disagreements about the efficacy of U.S. aid to the Lebanese armed forces, Reuters reported.

The security assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was passed by Congress and signed by the president, but it was blocked by the White House and its Office of Management and Budget since June. The fund was supposed to be used for military vehicles, weapons, and ammunition.

The LAF is a key U.S. partner in Lebanon, a country which also houses thousands of refugees from the war in neighboring Syria.

white-house A report surfaced of a Trump administration official falsifying her qualifications. Photo: Reuters/Gary Hershorn