An aerial handout photo made available by French Ministry of Defence showing the helicopter-carrier ‘Tonnerre’ of the French Navy, arriving with significant material and human resources on 14 August 2020 to help with operations of clearing after the explosion which devastated a large part of the Lebanese capital in Beirut on 04 August 2020.
According to the Lebanese Health Ministry, at least 160 people were killed, and more than 6,000 injured in the blast that devastated the port area and is believed to have been caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse.
French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing Lebanon’s political leaders to install an interim technocratic government able to enact reforms, win back public confidence and persuade donors to release billions of dollars in aid.
A French diplomatic source said Macron delivered his message to Lebanon’s political parties on a visit to Beirut two days after the Aug. 4 port explosion that destroyed whole neighbourhoods, killed 172 people, and made 250,000 homeless.
The Lebanese government has since resigned amid angry street protests, though it continues in caretaker mode until a new administration is formed. Three Lebanese political sources said Macron, who was surrounded by crowds as he toured Beirut, was at the centre of international efforts to resolve the crisis.
Via Reuters/ EPA-EFE/FRENCH MINISTERY OF DEFENSE