"This past weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the United States designating Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization", Sales said.
"Countering Hezbollah is a top priority for the Trump administration", Sales told reporters, announcing the rewards for two alleged top-level Hezbollah operatives.
Washington and the Lebanese movement have been foes since 1983, when the group was blamed by for deadly suicide bombings against its embassy and a USA barracks in Beirut. "We are aware of the report and we are looking into it", said Mr. Sales.
The Pentagon said Washington has provided Lebanon with more than $1.5 billion in military assistance since 2006, and that United States special forces have been providing "training and support" for the Lebanese army since 2011.
But this summer President Donald Trump seemed to misunderstand the role played by Hezbollah in Lebanon's complex politics.
In addition to offering rewards for information that leads to the arrest of the two Hezbollah officials, the U.S.is also pressing allies in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia to target the terror group with sanctions to help close financial loopholes the group's operatives have been using to their advantage. "We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, and unfortunately this is the reality".
The multi-million cash prizes are the first Hezbollah-related rewards under the Rewards for Justice Program in a decade.
Both France and the United States have provided Lebanon with advanced weaponry, and this past summer, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received 50 armored vehicles, 40 artillery pieces and 50 grenade launchers from the United States as part of an aid package to bolster the Middle Eastern country against the threats posed by militant groups.
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But he warned that "more work needs to be done".
"Some countries have chosen to designate only Hezbollah's military wing, leaving its so-called political wing untouched", he said. "But that is a false distinction", he said.
"Make no mistake, Hezbollah has no political wing". "With backing from its patron, the Iranian regime, Hezbollah remains one of the world's most unsafe terrorist organizations".
The officials' comments will be seen as setting the tone ahead of Trump's announcement of his new Iran strategy, which will be aimed at rolling back Tehran's influence.
"In any development, there will be only one front", Liberman reiterated, "Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime, and all the Assad regime's collaborators".
Other Israeli officials, Liberman included, have repeatedly voiced concerns about the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and the growing Iranian presence on its borders, stressing that both are red-lines for the Jewish State.
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.