SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Middle East

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2007   #21
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Lebanon Confronts A Fierce Adversary

22 May Washington Post - Lebanon Confronts A Fierce Adversary by Ellen Knickmeyer.

Quote:
A little-known Islamic militant group based in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon battled government troops Monday in some of the country's fiercest fighting since the civil war ended in 1990, surprising the Lebanese military with the scope of the group's weaponry and financing.

Tank and artillery fire pounded blocks of the Nahr al-Bared camp, creating towers of black smoke, as the second day of fighting pushed the death toll among soldiers and militants to at least 50. Palestinian officials told news agencies that nine civilians had been killed inside the camp Monday, but there was no word of Sunday's civilian casualties...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007   #22
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Lebanese Army and Islamists Battle for 2nd Day

22 May NY Times - Lebanese Army and Islamists Battle for 2nd Day by Hassan Fattah.

Quote:
Lebanese tanks and artillery pounded a Palestinian refugee camp in this northern Lebanese city for the second straight day on Monday, battling members of a radical Islamist group and raising concerns for thousands trapped inside.

Government officials said at least 60 people had been killed — 30 soldiers, 15 militants and 15 civilians — in the fighting that began when a police raid on bank robbers early Sunday escalated into one of Lebanon’s most significant security crises since the end of the civil war in 1990.

The militant group, Fatah al Islam, which is thought to have links to Al Qaeda, fired antiaircraft guns and mortars and had night vision goggles and other sophisticated equipment. The Lebanese Army does not have such gear.

Lebanese television stations reported that among the dead militants were men from Bangladesh, Yemen and other Arab countries...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007   #23
aktarian
Council Member
 
aktarian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Government officials said at least 60 people had been killed — 30 soldiers, 15 militants and 15 civilians — in the fighting that began when a police raid on bank robbers early Sunday escalated into one of Lebanon’s most significant security crises since the end of the civil war in 1990.
I guess author wasn't paying much attention to news last summer.....
__________________
Historic-Battles forum moderator
aktarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007   #24
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Well, to be fair a lot more people have died already in this dustup, and it's not over yet.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007   #25
goesh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,188
Default

A UN relief convoy got hit trying to enter the fatah islam camp. I don't know how Intelligence keeps up with all these splinter groups
goesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007   #26
aktarian
Council Member
 
aktarian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Well, to be fair a lot more people have died already in this dustup, and it's not over yet.
Wasn't body count last year around 1.000 dead on Lebanese side and about 150 on Israeli?

Plus arguemnt could be made that last year's fighting led to political confrontation between Hezbollah and rest of government resulting in protests and couple of deaths.
__________________
Historic-Battles forum moderator
aktarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007   #27
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default U.N. Council Backs Tribunal For Lebanon

31 May Washington Post - U.N. Council Backs Tribunal For Lebanon by Colum Lynch and Ellen Knickmeyer.

Quote:
A sharply divided U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to create an international criminal tribunal to prosecute the masterminds of the February 2005 suicide bombing that killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri and 22 others.

The vote will lead to the creation of the first U.N.-backed criminal tribunal in the Middle East, raising expectations that Hariri's killers will be held accountable. But that has stoked fears among Lebanese authorities and some council members that supporters of Syria -- which has been linked to the assassination -- will plunge Lebanon's fledgling democracy into a bloody new round of internal strife...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007   #28
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default

Posted on the Counterterrorism Blog, 1 Jun 07:
Quote:
On May 25, 2007, copies of a new video recording were publicly distributed over password-protected Al-Qaida Internet websites after being authenticated by the pre-eminent Al-Fajr Media Center. The seven-minute recording contains a speech by a masked individual identifying himself only as the “military commander of Al-Qaida’s Committee in Al-Shams” (“Greater Syria”). This is the first known occasion that any individual or organization inside of Lebanon has explicitly identified themselves as part of the international Al-Qaida terrorist network....
Video Threat to Lebanon from "Al-Qa'ida in Greater Syria"
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007   #29
Ski
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 489
Default

AQ has opened up a new front. Damn. I wonder if we are going to let the Lebanese Army handle this alone. I've read we've been shipping ammo over to them.
Ski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007   #30
SoiCowboy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 35
Default

It seems it doesn't matter how podunk or backwater your group is.

Say the magic word Al-Qaeda and you get news time.

I'm just surprised its taken this long for it to happen in this area.
SoiCowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2007   #31
Abu Buckwheat
Council Member
 
Abu Buckwheat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Insurgency University
Posts: 143
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoiCowboy View Post
It seems it doesn't matter how podunk or backwater your group is.

Say the magic word Al-Qaeda and you get news time.

I'm just surprised its taken this long for it to happen in this area.
This is an excellent observation. AQ has had a supporting Jihadist organization in Lebanon for some time called the Asabat al-Ansar in Southern Lebanon ... they have lost dozens of men, including their senior commander, fighting in Iraq. Somehow this minor group, Fatah-Al-Islam got associated with the words "Al Qaeda" because they are Sunni and militants... now theyare part of AQ Global? ... this works so well in AQ's global IO campaign... AQ may actually start supporting them and they may actually becaome what we say they are.

However a cautionary note: When AQ names a wing with the region behind it, it generally means that they are taking aim at the regime there. Syria now has bigger problems than Israel if AQ plans to operate in that region and with all of those new Saudi "tourists" coming in and out of Iraq with combat experience they may be asking us and the Israelis for assistance with their Salafist problems soon enough. For Israel this is another bad sign of what happens when you don't back the devils you know... as if Hizballah and HAMAS teach them that lesson.
__________________
Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993
Abu Buckwheat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2007   #32
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aktarian View Post
Wasn't body count last year around 1.000 dead on Lebanese side and about 150 on Israeli?

Plus arguemnt could be made that last year's fighting led to political confrontation between Hezbollah and rest of government resulting in protests and couple of deaths.
You're right. I was only thinking of the March 14 vs March 8 political confrontation.

As far as Fatah al-Islam is concerned, it's instructive sometimes to listen to bin Laden's own words:

Quote:
All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note ...
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2007   #33
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default

The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Focus, 12 Jun 07:

Are Outside Actors Funding Sunni Islamist Groups in Lebanon's Camps?
Quote:
...Since the emergence of Fatah al-Islam as an armed jihadi threat earlier this spring, Lebanon's Sunni-led March 14 coalition has been forced to answer charges from the Hezbollah-led opposition and others that it—as well as its Saudi and Jordanian allies—has been funding Sunni Islamist groups like Fatah al-Islam in an effort to counter the strength of Hezbollah's weapons and manpower. Links between Fatah al-Islam and the Syrian regime that emerged following the recent clashes made those accusations easier to counter; with respect to the armed groups in Ain al-Helweh, however, the accusations have been both more frequent and harder to disprove....
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007   #34
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default

CSIS, 22 Jun 07: Summer Wars in Lebanon?
Quote:
Lebanon is already involved in four potential struggles:

 A Syrian effort to restore influence, if not control.

 The rebuilding and restructuring of Hezbollah military power as both a means to gaining power in Lebanon and as an Iranian and Syrian supported threat to Israel.

 Confessional struggles for power reflected in a major division between a Christian-Sunni prime Minister and a slim majority of Parliament and a Presidency with Syrian and Hezbollah ties, and

 A struggle against the emergence of Sunni Islamist extremist movements with ties to Al Qa’ida that has led to clashes between the Lebanese Army and extremists in Palestinian Camps, but which involves Lebanese supporters of Al Qa’ida as well.

None of these struggles need turn into a “war,” but all of them can. They also interact, not only with internal developments in Lebanon, but developments in Israeli-Syrian relations, regional tensions with Iran, Palestinian struggles, and conflicts involving Sunni Islamist extremist movements like Al Qa’ida. The question of who will use whom interacts with the question of how far things can escalate, and no one can predict the outcome....
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007   #35
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default 5 U.N. Peacekeepers Killed in Lebanon

25 June NY Times - 5 U.N. Peacekeepers Killed in Lebanon by Nada Bakri.

Quote:
A car bombing killed five United Nations peacekeepers in southern Lebanon on Sunday, opening another potentially disastrous fault line in a country held hostage to violence and political deadlock.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack on the peacekeepers, who were deployed along the border with Israel after last summer’s war with Hezbollah. But suspicion immediately fell on militant Islamists, who are fighting the Lebanese Army in the country’s north. The United Nations force, Unifil, has been on alert for weeks because of that fight and several bombings that are believed to be related to it...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007   #36
SteveMetz
Council Member
 
SteveMetz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 1,488
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
ICG, 21 Dec 06: Lebanon at a Tripwire

To put it in a larger perspective, I thought this essay by Vic Hanson was one of the best assessments I've read for a long time:

Mideast cripples own cause


Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University: Tribune Media Services

June 22, 2007

'The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people's great leader, Yasser Arafat." So Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdel Rahman recently exclaimed. "This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs." Looting? Crime? Despicable gangs?

Excuse me. For years, Palestinian Authority-sanctioned gangs shot and tortured dissidents, glorified suicide bombing against Israel and in general thwarted any hopes of various "peace processes."

Of course, this kind of behavior isn't limited to the Palestinian territories but is spread across the Middle East. The soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran is grotesque. Iraqis continue to discover innovative ways to extinguish one another. Syria assassinates democratic reformers in Lebanon.

Here's why much of the region is so unhinged -- and it's not because of our policy in Palestine or our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

First, thanks to Western inventions and Chinese manufactured goods, Middle Easterners can now access the non-Muslim world cheaply and vicariously. To millions of Muslims, the planet appears -- on the Internet, DVDs and satellite television -- to be growing rich as most of their world stays poor.

Second, the Middle East either will not or cannot make the changes necessary to catch up with what they see in the rest of the world. Tribalism -- loyalty only to kin rather than to society at large -- impedes merit and thus progress. So does gender apartheid. Who knows how many would-be Margaret Thatchers or Sandra Day O'Connors remain veiled in the kitchen?

Religious fundamentalism translates into rote prayers in madrassas while those outside the Middle East master science and engineering. Without a transparent capitalist system -- antithetical to both sharia (Muslim law) and state-run economies -- initiative is never rewarded. Corruption is.

So, Middle Easterners are left with the old frustration of wanting the good life of Western society but lacking either the ability or willingness to change the status quo to get it. Instead, we get monotonous scapegoating. Blaming America or Israel -- "Those sneaky Jews did it!" -- has become a regional pastime.

And after the multifarious failures of Yasser Arafat, the Assads in Syria, Moammar Gadhafi, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein and other corrupt autocrats, many have, predictably, retreated to fundamentalist extremism.

Almost daily, some fundamentalist claims that the killing of Westerners is justified, because of a cartoon or a Papal paragraph or, most recently, British knighthood awarded to novelist Salman Rushdie. The terrorism of Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban is as much about nihilist rage as it is about blackmailing Western governments to grant concessions.

Meanwhile, millions of others simply flee the mess, immigrating to either Europe or the United States...
SteveMetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2007   #37
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Chaotic Lebanon Risks Becoming Militant Haven

7 July NY Times - Chaotic Lebanon Risks Becoming Militant Haven by Souad Mekhennet, Michael Moss and Michael Slackman.

Quote:
... One year ago, this country found itself in the middle of a war between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah after Hezbollah fighters crossed the border and seized two Israeli soldiers. Although the war’s catastrophic damage drew Lebanese together, they quickly turned on one another politically. Killings, bombings and political protests have become routine.

Political forces find themselves stalemated, with no one firmly in charge. Neighborhoods of rubble from last year’s war remain uncleared, and politicians on each side accuse those on the other of blocking reconstruction to prevent them from getting credit.

Parliament has to select a new president in September, but with the governing coalition and the opposition hostile to each other, that could set off an unraveling of what remains of the system of governance.

“If you are in a hole, at least stop digging,” said Ali Hamdan, foreign affairs adviser to Nabih Berri, speaker of Parliament, leader of the Shiite Amal movement and a close ally of Hezbollah. “Unfortunately, the Lebanese keep digging.”...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2007   #38
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default

GEES, 12 Jul 07: The Lebanon: What Comes Next?
Quote:
The Current Context

1.- The political crisis in the Lebanon is still unresolved and seems to be worsening: The pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian factions are still in stand-off position, the institutional system is paralysed and sectarian-religious rivalries have done nothing but increase over the last few months. This crisis will simply become more acute between now and the presidential elections next September....

2.- Syria poses an increasingly complicated challenge both within the political panorama and with regard to the security situation. Its first objective is to prevent the inquiry into Hariri's death from implicating persons close to the regime headed by Bashar al-Assad, if not the Syrian President himself. However, at the same time, Damascus aspires to break out of the position of international isolation to which it has been consigned in recent years....

3.- The deterioration of security conditions is evident and, quite possibly, impossible to reverse. Over the last month we have witnessed ever-worsening sectarian violence and terrorist attacks in the north of the country, in Beirut and now in Southern Lebanon.....

4.- Israeli Uncertainty. On Sunday 17th June, Israel suffered a strike from two Katyusha missiles fired from Lebanese soil (specifically, from the area controlled by the UN Interim Force in the Lebanon, UNIFIL, and the Spanish contingent). The attack was condemned by Hezbollah and responsibility was assumed by a hitherto-unknown group that called itself the Jihad Badr Brigade. The Israeli authorities did not respond to this attack because they believed that any attack on their part would seriously compromise the fragile position of the government headed by Prime Minister Siniora in Beirut, which was already under attack from Hezbollah and Syria.....
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2007   #39
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 10,764
Default UNIFIL review by Israeli think tank

I like 'The Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center' www.terrorism-info.org.il and receive their newsletters. They recently featured a lengthy review of UNIFIL and the security situation in Southern Lebanon. Has some nice photos too, some maps are a little confusing.

Have a peek: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/mal...n1701_0807.htm

davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2007   #40
Granite_State
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Green Mountains
Posts: 354
Default In Lebanon, soldiers win new respect

Quote:
Bibnine, Lebanon - Mustafa Borghol stares solemnly out from one of dozens of "martyr" portraits stuck to walls in this village in northern Lebanon. The 24-year-old Lebanese Special Forces soldier is the 10th resident of Bibnine to die in three months of bitter fighting between the Lebanese Army and the Al Qaeda-inspired militants of Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, just three miles from here.

"This village used to be famous for fishing and carpentry," says Mohammed Borghol, Mustafa's father, while sitting in his butcher shop. "Now it is famous for its martyrs, and we are very proud of them."
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0828/p06s02-wome.html

Good to see increased esteem for a national institution there.
Granite_State is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
civilians, hezbollah, lebanon, qaida, syria, urban fighting, warlords

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Iraq: A Displacement Crisis Merv Benson Catch-All, OIF 41 01-18-2010 07:33 PM
Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen Jedburgh Middle East 3 11-04-2009 09:39 AM
How To Stop IEDs SteveMetz Catch-All, OIF 42 11-13-2007 09:15 PM
Iran's Historic and Present Ties with Lebanon, Hezbollah SWJED Middle East 0 08-19-2006 11:24 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation