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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Other foreign powers

Other foreign powers

Besides Syria and Israel, a many other states were active in Lebanon. Most Arab states tried to counter the Syrian influence one way or another and therefore supported one or more parties. Egypt supported the Maronites to weaken both Syria and the Palestinians because they objected to the peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel. When it became clear that the Syrians were going to intervene in favour of the Maronites, President Sadat sent the PLA brigade stationed in Egypt to help the Palestinians against Syria.

The conservative Arab oil states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates supported the Maronites in what they saw as a struggle between the right and the international left. After the massacres by the Maronite militias, this support dried up however.89 Saudi Arabia would later play a very important role in peace negotiations, for instance, at the conference in Riyadh where the decision was taken to send the Arab Deterrent Force and especially later at the negotiations about the Ta’if Treaty which would end the civil war.

The most important Arab sponsors besides Syria were Iraq and Libya. Iraq supported the ALF and the pro-Iraqi Baath plus the National Movement as a whole. Libya mainly supported the PFLP and al-Murabitun (MIN).

Iran began supporting all kinds of Palestinian and Lebanese movements after its revolution, particularly Hezbollah and Tawhid. After the Israeli invasion, Iran sent a few hundred members of its Revolutionary Guards to the Bekaa Valley.90

Besides their indirect presence in Lebanon, troops from Arab states, among them Libya and Sudan, were represented in the ADF. The result was that a number of regional conflicts were fought in Lebanon. The fighting between the ALF and Amal, for instance, was connected to the Iraqi-Iranian war and Amal came to blows with al-Murabitun as well over the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr in Libya. Pro-Syrian and pro-Iraqi organisations also clashed regularly. There was even an armed confrontation between Libyan and Sudanese troops of the ADF after the president of Sudan accused Libya of involvement in an attempted coup against him.91

The United States mostly played a part in the background at first, through its support to Israel and by mediation. From 1983 onward, the US started meddling in Lebanon directly. After the massacres in Sabra and Shatila another Multi National Force was sent to west Beirut. At the same time, the Americans were setting up a new Lebanese army. In September, US ships, among them the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower and the battleship USS New Jersey, took up positions near the Lebanese shores.92

Although the Americans claimed neutrality, they sided with the Maronites in the struggle between Maronites and Druze in the Shouf Mountains, with the battleship USS New Jersey carrying out heavy bombardments against Druze and Syrian positions. The response came in the form of bomb attacks against US targets in Lebanon. On 24 October 1983, 241 US Marines were killed in a bomb attack against their headquarters.93
In February of 1984, the American troops were withdrawn.

After the US withdrawal, Syria and Israel were left as the most important foreign powers in Lebanon. The struggle for dominance between those two powers will be discussed in the next chapter as this is closely connected to the rise of sectarian and fundamentalist parties among the Muslim population.


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curses (08-02-2008), Sophia (01-22-2011), Stormlight (08-01-2008)
By Watser? on 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM
News Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

Here's a story from the Lebanese press about one former member of Tawhid who was murdered Saturday in the Palestinian camp Ain al Hilweh, near Sidon.
Located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh, like most other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, does not fall under the control of the Lebanese government but under that of local Palestinian armed factions.

The camp saw normal activity Sunday morning, one day after the body of Ghandi Sahmarani, a member in the disbanded Jund al-Sham Islamist group was found.

Security sources said that Sahmarani, who is a Lebanese citizen wanted by Lebanese authorities, was found hand cuffed, leg cuffed and struck by a sharp device on the head. Sahmarani who hasn’t shown up for a long time, used to live in the Taamir neighborhood, which lies to the north of the camp, and which is considered a stronghold for Salafi Islamists. The area falls under the influence of Osbat al-Ansar, an Islamist group.

The fugitive was a member of Al-Tawhid al-Islami movement in the 1980’s, during which he participated in the fierce battles that broke out between the movement and the Syrian Army in Tripoli. He left Tripoli in 1987 and moved to Sidon where he joined a number of fundamentalist movements including Osbat al-Ansar and Jund al-Sham. After the disbandment of Jund al-Sham, Sahmarani joined Fatah al-Islam.

Sahmarani reportedly sheltered a number of Islamists who fled the northern Dinnieh district after taking part in the clashes that erupted between their comrades and the Lebanese Army in the district in 2000.

As a member of Jund al-Sham, the group fought the Lebanese Army several times. Armed clashes broke out between the two around Ain al-Hilweh in 2007, when the army was fighting Fatah al-Islam in the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
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By Watser? on 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

"The army has taken over Bab al-Tebbaneh," said the spokesman, adding that troops had captured 162 fighters since Friday.

The army urged other fighters still at large to turn themselves in.

The soldiers carried out house-to-house searches and made several weapons seizures.

A 72-year-old woman said she had never before been forced out of Bab al-Tebbaneh, "not even during the civil war. But this time, I had to flee my house, along with my five grandchildren. I am in charge of them, because their father is in jail", said Umm Mohammed Jaaburi. "The violence was unprecedented," she said.
Lebanon army back in control of Tripoli
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By Watser? on 10-30-2014, 02:36 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

No two people would disagree about the outcome of the most recent round of clashes in Tripoli. The army was able to defeat the gunmen. The outcome is unambiguous, at least in terms of appearances. The Lebanese army succeeded in driving the gunmen underground and removed all signs of their former existence. It set up checkpoints and carried out raids in areas that were forbidden to it in the past even if it cost the lives of 12 officers and soldiers, while there were no heavy casualties among the gunmen.
Jihadi groups in north Lebanon admit to defeat in battle against the army | Al Akhbar English
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