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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Arab nationalist parties

Arab nationalist parties

MAN and its successors

The most influential parties among the Sunnis were the Arab nationalist parties. One of them was the Movement of Arab Nationalists (MAN, Harakat al-Qawmiyin al-Arab) that was founded in Beirut in 1954. It was a pan-Arab party with branches in the entire Mashriq (the eastern part of the Arab world). From 1962 onward it had two branches: the one that considered itself the left wing had a Shi’ite Lebanese called Muhsin Ibrahim and a Greek Orthodox Jordanian named Nayef Hawatmeh as members, the other wing had a Greek Orthodox Palestinian called George Habash. MAN worked with Nasser and the Nasserist movements in the early 1960s. The movement radicalised however and after the 1967 June War it fell apart in a number of Marxist-Leninist parties, among others:

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP, al-Jabha al-Shaabiya li-Tahrir Filastin), a Palestinian resistance group led by George Habash.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (formerly Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PDFLP, al-Jabha ad-Dimuqratiya al-Shaabiya li-Tahrir Filastin, change its name to DFLP, al-Jabha ad-Dimuqratiya li-Tahrir Filastin in August 1974), led by Nayef Hawatmeh.

The Organisation of Lebanese Socialists (OLS, Munazzamat al-Ishtirakiyin al-Lubnaniyin), this would join a leftist spinter of the Baath Party, Socialist Lebanon (SL, Lubnan al-Ishtiraki) in 1971 to become the Organisation of Communist Action (OCA, Munazzamat al-‘Amal ash-Shuyu’i) led by Muhsin Ibrahim.

The Party of Arab Socialist Action (PASA, Hizb al-’Amal al-Ishtiraki al-Arabi) also led by George Habash. This party considered itself an ally of the CPL and other Arab communist parties.30

Other Arab nationalist parties:

The Baath (Renaissance) Party (Hizb al-Baath) was founded in 1944 by a Syrian Christian named Michel Aflaq who was influenced by marxism and nationalism. The Baath party slogan was One Arab Nation with an Eternal Mission and its objectives were Freedom, Unity and Socialism. The Baath was the first party to adopt pan-Arab unity. It had branches in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan from the 1950s. In 1963 the Baath came to power in Syria but also split into two factions and in 1966 the main branch, led by Salah Jadid forced the minority wing led by Michel Aflaq into exile. After this wing of the Baath took over there in 1968, this branch would move to Iraq and become known as the Iraqi branch of the Baath. In Lebanon both branches were active.

The chairman of the pro-Iraqi Baath was Abd al-Majid al-Rafi’i who was elected to parliament in 1972 for the district of Tripoli. The party line was set in Baghdad.

The pro-Syrian Baath was led by Issam Qansi and party policy for this one was set in Damascus.

The Movement of Independent Nasserists (MIN, Harakat an-Nasiriyin al Mustaqillin) was founded in 1958 and led by a collective leadership chaired by Ibrahim Qulaylat. Qulaylat was a qabaday who had fought against Chamoun in the civil war of 1958 and was later recruited by Egypt and then the Deuxième Bureay (see above). Of its followers 60% were from Beirut and 10% were Druze and the rest about as many Shi’ites as Sunnis.31 The MIN also had a militia called al-Murabitun (named after the medieval movement that is known in the West as the Almoravids) which leaned on the Palestinian al-Fatah militarily.

The 24 October Movement (24 OM, Harakat ‘Arba wa ‘Ishrin Tishrin) was founded in 1969 and led by Farouq al-Moqaddam. It was active in the Tripoli region and was an Arab nationalist party, radical leftist party which followed a pro-Algerian line.

The Nasserist Organisation/Union of Working Forces (NO/UWF, al-Tanzim an’Nasiri/Ittihad Qiwa ash-Shaab al ‘Amil) was founded in 1970 and led by Kamal Shatilla. It was active in Beirut and the Shouf mountains mainly. Its ideology was Nasserist, leftist and pro-Syrian. In 1974 a split occurred and a new splinter group appeared, the NO/UWF Corrective Movement (NO/UWF CM) which was pro-Libyan.

The Nasserist People’s Organisation (NPO, at-Tanzim ash-Shaabi an-Nasiri) founded by Maarouf Saad in 1958. Maarouf Saad occupied the Sunni seat for Sidon from 1957 till 1972. After he was killed in 1975 his son Mustapha took over the party.


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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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