BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that it was not clear whether the Beirut Port explosion was a “deliberate attack or an accident,” stressing that the U.S. government would do its utmost to help the Lebanese.
Esper said, in an interview with Fox News, that the Beirut Port explosion “is devastating and I feel sad for the people.” He said, “I already have planes lined up to deliver aid, and we want to do everything in our power to help the Lebanese people in this hour of need.”
“The bottom line is that we still don’t know. You know, on the first day, as President Trump said, we thought it might have been an attack. Some of us expected it might be, for example, a shipment of weapons to Hezbollah that exploded. Maybe a manufacturing facility,” he continued.
“I have said before that it looks like an accident,” Esper said. “It is unfortunate that some in the media have tried to create divisions within the administration, perhaps between me and the president and others.”
He concluded, “It is simply not true. I mean, the truth of the matter, it is a great tragedy. Under the leadership of the President, we will do our best to help the Lebanese people and do what is right.”