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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Sectarianism and fundamentalism

Sectarianism and fundamentalism

Civil War continues

After the election of Amin Gemayel in September of 1982, the Maronite victory seemed complete. Gemayel appointed a Kataeb leader as commander of the army. A purge in the army’s ranks followed as officers with dissenting opinions were replaced by members and sympathisers of the Lebanese Forces. After the Israeli withdrawal from west Beirut, this ‘purged’ army took over and the Muslim militias were disarmed.

In May of 1983, Lebanon signed an agreement with Israel making an Israeli withdrawal conditional to a simultaneous withdrawal of Syrian troops. The Syrians had seen their influence reduced considerably after the Israeli invasion and considered this treaty a grievous infringement on their interests. Amal saw the treaty as a threat also. The Shi’ite movement considered it a way to divide Lebanon which they were determined to avoid at all costs.94 This drew them together with the Syrians. Meanwhile the Druze PSP was involved in heavy fighting with the Lebanese Forces which had profited from the Israeli invasion to establish themselves in the Shouf Mountains. On 14 May, even before the signing of the Lebanese-Israeli treaty, the National Salvation Front had been established. This front united staunch Syrian allies like Suleiman Frangieh, Rashid Karami and the pro-Syrian Baath with Walid Jumblatt’s PSP, the CPL and the SSNP. Their most important goals were trying to stop the ratification of the treaty as well as undermining the hegemony of the Kataeb.95

Syria was supplying weapons to the PSP and also started arming Amal. The fights in the Shouf reconciled the two traditionally hostile factions among the Druze under Walid Jumblatt’s leadership. After a couple of mutual massacres by Christians and Druze, there was a mass exodus of Christians from the Shouf. The Druze routed the LF and the Lebanese army and at the end of September, the Shouf was completely under Druze control. In west Beirut fights had broken out in August between the army on one side and Amal, al-Murabitun, the CPL, and the PSP on the other. The militias withdrew after the army promised it would use no violence. This promise was broken however: west Beirut was taken and the (Shi’ite) suburbs heavily bombed.

At the start of November of 1983, a conference was held in Geneva between Rashid Karami, Camille Chamoun, Suleiman Frangieh, Pierre Gemayel, Amin Gemayel, Adil Osayran (a Shi’ite za’im), Saeb Salam, Walid Jumblatt, and Nabih Berri (the leader of Amal).96 This was far from a representation of the warring parties or even the different religious groups. All of the Christians present were Maronites and only Jumblatt, Berri and Amin Gemayel had any military force. The only tangible result was that Amin Gemayel was sent to Washington to discuss the rescinding of the May treaty.97

In February of 1984, the army, together with the LF, attacked the Shi’ite southern suburbs of Beirut after months of bombardments of these suburbs and west Beirut. Nabih Berri called on the Shi’ites in the army to ignore orders. As a result of that the entire Shi’ite Sixth Brigade defected and Amal, supported by the PSP and al-Murabitun, took over west Beirut. On 5 February the government resigned.98


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Thanks, from:
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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