Lebanon — The government is about to purchase two Russian-made Kamov firefighting helicopters, a source in the interior ministry told As-Safir on Thursday. The government is currently leasing this type of helicopter from Cyprus to assist the Lebanese army’s choppers in extinguishing the fires that are raging in Byblos, Ainab, Qabr Shmoun and Sarhamoul.
The source said that the ministry is “endeavoring to underwrite the cost of the two helicopters” through grants to avoid burdening the treasury.
The grants should suffice to cover at least half of the cost of the Kamovs, the source told As-Safir.
He added that the ministry plans to cover the remainder of the amount by organizing a “telethon” to be targeted at all Lebanese, both residents and expatriates, to raise contributions to pay for the helicopters, “because the fires concern all Lebanese and not only the state.”
Sources in the interior ministry confirmed that the telethon would be organized in the next few days.