Adonis Diaries

Road map of a civil war: Phase 4(1985-1991)

Posted on: October 22, 2008

The fourth phase (1985-1991) started after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from most Lebanon except a major part in the South and ended with the exile of Prime Minister General Michel Aoun to France.

President Amine Gemmayel (First son of founder of Phalanges party) failed to negotiate a legitimately elected new President and appointed the army chief General Michel Aoun as Prime Minister in interim. The Moslem generals refused to participate in the government as the Moslem Selim Hoss PM refused to step down.  Lebanon was run by two governments and two armies.

General Aoun attempted to reclaim the authority for the maritime ports and airport but could not convince the Syrians to withdraw from areas under his authority and the Lebanese army fought the Syrian troops in Beirut and Ashrafieh. The spiritual chief of the Sunni sect, Hassan Khaled, was assassinated.

In this phase a bloody infighting between Hezbollah and “Amal” spread from the South to Dahieh. Iran was backing Hezbollah which refused to attack the Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut as the Syria backed “Amal” militias were doing. However, arms and ammunition were funneled to both factions through Syria.

The most savage fighting occurred in the Teffah region which lasted till 1990.  Supporters of Hezbollah relocated to Haret Hrik, Beer Abed and Ghobeiry and the supporters of “Amal” fell back to their last stronghold in Shiyyah.

In 1990, the remaining living Lebanese Deputies of the Parliament were convened to Taef in Saudi Arabia to sign a new constitution that would put an end to the war.  General Aoun disagreed with the terms of the Syrian withdrawal.  This period witnessed half a million Lebanese flocking to the presidential Palace in support of General Aoun.  Many set tents on the Palace grounds and families brought cooked food to the gathered masses and women offered their jewelry to replenish the depleted funds of Aoun’s government and army.

The most savage fighting in the Christian enclaves started between the Lebanese army and the “Lebanese Forces” under Samir Geaja who under signed the Taef agreement along with the Maronite Patriarch Sfeir.

The USA gave the green light for Syria tutelage or mandated power in Lebanon and Prime Minister Aoun had to flee the Presidential Palace and seek refuge in the France Embassy for 11 months as the Syrian air-force overflew the Palace.

In this phase of the war the Christians had no where to go but under ground in shelters for 6 months and suffered miserably from the infighting among Christian forces.

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October 2008

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