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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet The National Movement

The National Movement

Kamal Jumblatt’s PSP, the two Baath Parties, the MIN, Georges Hawi’s CPL, the OCA, the SSNP, Habash’s PASA, Farouq al-Moqaddam’s 24 October Movement, Maarouf Saad’s NPO and some other communist, Nasserist and radical splinter groups more or less worked together under the name National Movement (al-Harakat al-Wataniya).32 The different groups in the NM did not agree on much, but they did about the need to get rid of the sectarian representation in parliament, the bureaucracy and the army.33

The ideologies of the SSNP and the Arab nationalist parties obviously did not conform to the National Pact which demanded the Arabs would not seek unity with Syria or other Arab states. The Arab nationalist parties, the CPL and the SSNP were all legalised by Kamal Jumblatt, as Minister of Internal Affairs, in 1970.34 It is however unclear if the reason for banning them was their incompatibility with the National Pact.

In general it can be said that the most radical parties had the fewest Sunni followers. The followers of the CPL, for instance, were 50% Shi’ites, 30% Christians and 20% Druze and Sunnis.35
The chairman was a Christian. I have no figures on OCA but it seems likely this party also was most popular with Shi’ites. Its leaders were Muhsin Ibrahim, a Shi’ite and Fawaz Tarabulsi, a Greek Catholic.36
It is likely the Nasserist parties’ followers were mostly Sunni. The MIN had a more mixed following but it is described as one of the most militant movements within the NM.37

The Sunni zu’ama and especially Saeb Salam and Rashid Karami were very unhappy about this. They considered Jumblatt’s support to the Nasserist parties in Beirut and his contacts with Farouq al-Moqaddam and Abd al-Majid al-Rafi’i in Tripoli as undermining their clientele.38
As a response, Karami, Salam and the mufti began to cooperate and to urge for more power for the Sunni prime-minister and more participation (musharaka) in general.

The National Movement’s successes in the 1972 elections were not very impressive at first sight. The PSP won 6 seats, the pro-Iraqi Baath and the Nasserist Organisation each won 1 and Maarouf Saad lost his seat.39 On the other hand, for all parties except the PSP and Saad’s NPO, they were the first elections they participated in because they had all been illegal before 1970.

Three years later it would turn out that power in parliament was not as important as military power. All parties had their own militia and all leftist militias were armed and trained by one of the Palestinian groups.


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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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