Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Road map of a civil war

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.

The third phase (June 1982-1985) started with the invasion of Israel to Lebanon and entering its capital Beirut for two weeks and ended by the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Sidon and East Sidon to Jezzine in the South.

Israel withdrew its forces in phases from various parts of the lands it occupied.  The tactics of Israel were to allow the Christian “Lebanese Forces” to infiltrate into mixed regions and let the factions fight it out among themselves when Israel withdraws. These tactics started a civil war in the Chouf that ended with the evacuation of all Christian villages, and the follow-up civil war in the region of East Sidon that ended with the evacuation of all Christian towns toward Jezzine (under Israel occupation) or East Beirut.

Israel continued its occupation of a major part of South Lebanon until its total defeat in year 2000 and the withdrawal of its forces without negotiation or conditions.

This phase witnessed the evacuation of the armed Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from Beirut to Tunisia, the landing of UN troops constituted from US, France, and Italy into Beirut, the assassination of elected President Bashir Gemmayel, and the gruesome slaughter of the Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Chatila in West Beirut , contrary to the guarantees for their safety offered by the USA, France and Israel.  More than two thousands civilians (Palestinians and Lebanese) were killed within two days and nights.

The multinational forces composed of mainly French and American forces vacated Lebanon after two successful suicide car bomb attacks on their headquarters.  The Shiaa party “Amal” was split, and Hezbollah was created.  Battles between these two factions will intensify with Hezbollah taking over the control of Dahieh and “Amal” retaining the administration of what is left of South Lebanon.

Amine Gemmayel was elected President of the Republic with Israel backing.  The peace treaty with Israel that President Gemmayel was negotiating failed miserably in May 17, 1983 and the Lebanese army successfully checked the advances of the Syrian forces in Souk Gharb in the Aley region and which could have left the Presidential Palace exposed at the mercy of direct artillery fires.

The relocation movements within Beirut were the consequences of Syria’s supported militias like “Amal” attacking the Palestinian camps in and around Beirut. This war against the remaining Palestinian strongholds in West Beirut started in the summer of 1985 and lasted for 5 years which enfeebled “Amal” (the main Syrian supporter) militias militarily and politically.

Hezbollah was set to broaden its base in the Shiaa population and become the sole resistance power against Israeli occupation of part of Lebanon after Syria prohibited the leftist Lebanese forces to participate in that national and legitimate resistance.

Road map of a civil war: phase 2 (mid 1976-1982)

The second phase of this lengthy civil war (mid 1976-1982) began with the entrance of the Syrian forces to most regions of Lebanon, except the South that was under Israel de facto control.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement controlled the coast line from West Beirut to Sidon: the Syrian forces push to enter Saida was halted after suffering heavy casualties from the resistance of a few of  the Palestinian factions.

This period was characterized by the de facto civil administration of the Fateh faction of Yasser Arafat for the parts outside Syrian influence. The Lebanese leftist parties were practically marginalized and the head of that coalition, Kamal Junblatt, was assassinated in 1978.

The “Lebanese Forces” under Bashir Gemmayel managed to kick out the Syrian forces from Ashrafieh and East Beirut in what is called the “100-Days war”. The Syrian forces redeployed to the demarcation zone from Kfarshima to Tayyouni in Beirut.

The Syrian forces organized the attacks of the Shiaa “Amal” militia (of current chairman of the Parliament Nabih Berry) against the Leftist coalition and the Palestinian forces.

The relocation of the population took place in the South, especially the villages bordering Israel, because Israel sustained a military campaign designed to empty this region from its population under the code name of “Litany campaign”.

The refugees from South Lebanon converged to the shantytowns of the suburbs of West Beirut of what is currently called Dahieh or “Hezbollah Land” with heavy concentration of the Moslem Shiaa sect.

The “Amal” militia managed by the end of 1981 to take control of these suburbs of West Beirut at the expense of the communist and leftist forces.

The success of the Khomeini Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war will have definite impacts on later events.




July 2022

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