PARIS (AP) - France says it will begin shipping $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese army in April.

PARIS (AP) France says it will begin shipping $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese army in April.

The Defense Ministry says in a statement Wednesday that the deal, first announced in 2013, will supply French armored vehicles, warships, attack helicopters, munitions and communications gear. The deal also includes training programs for the Lebanese army run by the French military.

The deal aims to boost Lebanon's military as it struggles to contain a rising tide of violence linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria.