U.S. sanctions on Hezbollah are harming Lebanon as a whole, President Michel Aoun said on Thursday ahead of a visit to the country by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The United States deems the heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah group a terrorist organization and has been steadily increasing financial sanctions against it as part of efforts to counter Iran. Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah has a large armed militia that has helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his eight-year war against rebels, but it is also a political party in Lebanon with seats in the parliament and cabinet.
The Super Hornets would be the first new-build examples of the Block III variant of the F/A-18E/F. The Block III flies farther and carries more weapons than an older F/A-18E/F can do and also is stealthier than earlier Super Hornet models are.