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Lebanese Forces (militia)

The Lebanese Forces – LF (Arabic: القوات اللبنانية | al-quwwat al-lubnāniyya) or Forces Libanaises (FL) in French, was one of the main Christian factions of the Lebanese Civil War. Originally an umbrella organization for different Christian parties, the Lebanese Forces later became a separate organization. It was mainly staffed by Maronite Christians.

Lebanese Forces
القوات اللبنانية
Participant in Lebanese civil war (1975-1990)
Lebanese Forces flags (1977-present; 1983-1990)
Lebanese Forces flags (1977-present; 1983-1990)
Active1976 – 1994
LeadersBachir Gemayel, Fadi Frem, Elias Khoury, Fouad Abou Nader, Elie Hobeika, Samir Geagea
HeadquartersAshrafieh, Karantina, Amsheet
Size120,000 fighters
AlliesIsrael Defense Forces (IDF), Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), Army of Free Lebanon (AFL), South Lebanon Army (SLA)
Opponent(s)Lebanese National Movement (LNM), Tigers Militia, Marada Brigade, Lebanese Forces – Executive Command, Amal Movement, Lebanese Armed Forces, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Syrian Armed Forces
Originated as
approximately 30,000 fighters

The Lebanese Front was informally organized in January 1976 under the leadership of Pierre Gemayel and Camille Chamoun. It began as a simple coordination or joint command between the predominantly Christian Kataeb Party/Kataeb Regulatory Forces (KRF), Tyous Team of Commandos (TTC), Ahrar/Tigers Militia, Al-Tanzim, Marada Brigade and Lebanese Renewal Party/Guardians of the Cedars (GoC) parties and their respective military wings. The main reason behind the formation of the Lebanese Front was to strengthen the Christian side against the challenge presented by the Lebanese National Movement (LNM), an umbrella alliance of leftist Muslim parties/militias backed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Rejectionist Front Palestinian guerrilla factions.

The Golden Years (1976-1982)Edit

Christian East Beirut was ringed by heavily fortified Palestinian camps and East Beirut became besieged by the PLO camps. This situation was remedied by the Kataeb Regulatory Forces (most notably the BG Squad that was led by Bachir) and their allied Christian militias as they besieged the Palestinian camps embedded in Christian East Beirut one at a time and brought them down. The first was on 18 January 1976 when the heavily fortified Karantina camp, located near the strategic Beirut Harbor, was invaded: About 1,000 PLO fighters and civilians were killed.[1] The Palestinian PLO and al-Saiqa forces retaliated by attacking the isolated defenseless Christian town of Damour about 20 miles south of Beirut on the coast, during the Damour massacre in which 1,000 Christian civilians were killed and 5,000 were sent fleeing north by boat, since all roads were blocked off.[2] The Maronites retaliated with the invasion of the largest and strongest Palestinian refugee camp, Tel al-Zaatar that same year.[3] Bachir, with his KRF militia units, also fought against the PLO and LNM militias at the Battle of the Hotels in central Beirut. The most important battle won by the Phalange for the control of the hotel district was the fighting over the possession of the Holiday Inn, due to its important strategic location. Before that battle, the Holiday Inn had been occupied by the PLO.[4]

The Lebanese Forces was soon after established with an agreement that the direct military commander would be a Kataeb member and the vice-commander an Ahrar member.

Bachir led his troops in the infamous "Hundred Days War" in Lebanon in 1978, in which the Lebanese Forces successfully resisted the Syrian shelling and attacking of Eastern Beirut for about three months before an Arab-brokered agreement forced the Syrians to end the siege. Syrians took high buildings such as Burj Rizk Achrafieh and Burj El Murr using snipers and heavy weapons against civilians. The soldiers stayed for 90 days. Another major clash took place near the Sodeco area in Achrafieh where the Lebanese Forces fought ferociously and led the Syrian army out of the Rizk Building.[5] At this time, Israel was the primary backer of the Lebanese Front's militia.

In July 1980, following months of intra-Christian clashes between the Tigers, the militia of Dany, and the Phalangists, who by now were under the complete leadership of Bachir Gemayel, the Phalangists launched an operation in an attempt to stop the clashes within the Christian areas, and to unite all the Christian militias under Gemayel's command. This operation resulted in a massacre of tens of Tigers' members at the Marine beach resort in Safra, 25 km north of Beirut. Camille Chamoun's silence was interpreted as acceptance of Gemayel's controls, because he felt that the Tigers led by his son were getting out of his control.[citation needed]

In 1981 at Zahlé in the Beqaa, the largest Christian town in the East, confronted one of the biggest battles – both military and political – between the Lebanese Forces and the Syrian occupying forces. The Lebanese Forces was able to confront them even though there was a big mismatch in military capabilities and was able to reverse the result of the battle of 1981. This victory was due to the bravery of the inhabitants and 92 Lebanese Forces soldiers (L.F Special Forces: The Maghaweer) sent from Beirut. The Syrian occupying forces used all kind of weapons (heavy artillery, tanks, war planes…) against a peaceful town, and they cut all kind of backup that may come from the Mountain. Regardless of the very bad weather and heavy bombing, convoys were sent in the snow to Zahle. Two Lebanese Forces soldiers died on a hill due to bad weather, they were found later holding each other… till they died (Fouad Nammour and George Nakhle). The battle of Zahle gave the Lebanese Cause a new perspective in the International Communities, and the victory was both military and diplomatic. It made the Leadership of President Bashir Gemayel much stronger because of his leadership and important role in this battle. The battle started in April the 2nd 1981, and finished with a cease fire and Lebanese Police were sent to Zahle. The 92 Lebanese Forces heroes returned to Beirut on 1 July 1981.[6]

Israeli invasionEdit

In 1982, Bachir met with Hani Al-Hassan (representative of the PLO) and told him that Israel will enter and wipe them out. Bachir told him to leave Lebanon peacefully before it's too late. Hani left and no reply was given to Bachir.[7]

Israel invaded Lebanon, arguing that a military intervention was necessary to root out PLO guerrillas from the southern part of the country. Israeli forces eventually moved towards Beirut and laid siege to the city, aiming to reshape the Lebanese political landscape and force the PLO out of Lebanon. By 1982, Israel had been the main supplier to the Lebanese Forces, giving them assistance in weapons, clothing, and training.

An official Israeli inquiry into events in Beirut estimated that when fully mobilized the Phalange had 5000 fighters of whom 2000 were full-time.[8]

After the PLO had been expelled from the country to Tunisia, in a negotiated agreement, Bachir Gemayel became the youngest man to ever be elected as president of Lebanon. He was elected by the parliament in August; most Muslim members of parliament boycotted the vote.

On September 3, 1982, during the meeting, Begin demanded that Bachir sign a peace treaty with Israel as soon as he took office in return of Israel's earlier support of Lebanese Forces and he also told Bachir that the IDF will stay in South Lebanon if the Peace Treaty was not directly signed. Bachir was furious at Begin and told him that the Lebanese Forces did not fight for seven years and that they did not sacrifice thousands of soldiers to free Lebanon from the Syrian Army and the PLO so that Israel can take their place. The meeting ended in rage and both sides were not happy with each other.[9]

Begin was reportedly angry at Bachir for his public denial of Israel's support. Bachir refused the immediate peace arguing that time is needed to reach consensus with Lebanese Muslims and the Arab nations. Bachir was quoted telling David Kimche, the director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, few days earlier, "Please tell your people to be patient. I am committed to make peace with Israel, and I shall do it. But I need time - nine months, maximum one year. I need to mend my fences with the Arab countries, especially with Saudi Arabia, so that Lebanon can once again play its central role in the economy of the Middle East."[10][11]

In an attempt to fix the relations between Bachir and Begin, Ariel Sharon met secretly with Bachir in Bikfaya. In this meeting, they both agreed that, after 48 hours, the IDF will cooperate with the Lebanese Army to force the Syrian Army out of Lebanon. After that is done, the IDF would peacefully leave the Lebanese territory. Concerning the Peace Negotiation, Sharon agreed to give Bachir time to fix the internal conflicts before signing the negotiation. The next day, Begin's office issued a statement saying that the issues agreed upon between Bachir and Sharon were accepted.[12]

Nine days before he was to take office, on September 14, 1982, Bachir was killed along with 25 others in a bomb explosion in the Kataeb headquarters in Achrafieh. The attack was carried out by Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), believed by many to have acted on instructions of the Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad.[13] The next day, Israel moved to occupy the city, allowing Phalangist members under Elie Hobeika's command to enter the centrally located Sabra and the Shatila refugee camp; a massacre followed, in which Phalangists killed between 762-3,500 (number is disputed) civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, causing great international uproar.

The Amine Gemayel years (1982–1988)Edit


Mountain WarEdit

After the Israeli invasion, the IDF troops settled in the Chouf and Aley from party militias, the Lebanese Forces returned to the Christian villages which had been occupied by the PSP for seven years, and many Christian civilians from the districts returned after having fled earlier in the war. However, soon after, clashes broke out between the Lebanese Forces and the Druze militias who had now taken over the districts and had earlier kicked out the Christian inhabitants. The main Druze militiamen came from the Progressive Socialist Party, led by Walid Jumblatt, in alliance with the Syrian Army and Palestinian militants who had not departed Lebanon in 1982. For months, the two fought what would later be known as the "Mountain War." At the peak of the battle, Israeli troops infamously abandoned the area, handing over the best tactical positions to the Druze militias and their allies as punishment for the Christians' refusal of the May 17 peace agreement with Israel, and leaving the Christian forces sitting ducks ready to be slaughtered. Even though the Christian inhabitants of these regions were almost entirely with Jumblatt's PSP, and historically very loyal to Kamal Jumblatt, more than two thousand Christian civilians were massacred in the ensuing invasion, most of whom were killed after surrendering, where Druze would conduct the mssacres with almost medieval style weapons, and their Palestinian and Syrian allies would do most of the fighting. The total destruction of tens of villages, towns, churches and monasteries ensured the complete extermination of the 1,000-year-old Christian mountain population.

Ironically, the Palestinian militants, the Christian's main enemies in the war, helped save countless civilian lives by going from town to town and warning the hapless civilians that the Druze militias were advancing and bent on killing them all, giving them enough time to flee the mountain.

The massacre is estimated to be the largest of the Lebanese war, and had reached almost genocidal proportions. At the same time, a small number of ill-equipped Lebanese Forces troops also fought battles against the Palestinian and Druze militias and the Syrian troop east of the southern city of Sidon. The outcome was also a Progressive Socialist Party victory and a contiguous Druze Chouf district with access to Lebanese sea ports.

Jumblatt's militia then overstepped itself by attacking further into Souk El Gharb, a village held by the Lebanese Army's multi-confessional 8th Mechanised Infantry Brigade commanded by then Colonel Michel Aoun. The attackers were fiercely pushed back.

Internal power strugglesEdit

After the death of Bachir, his brother Amine Gemayel replaced him as President, and his cousin, Fadi Frem as commander of the Lebanese Forces. The two had a frosty relationship, and in 1984, pressure from Amine led to Frem's replacement by Fouad Abou Nader.

On March 12, 1985, Samir Geagea, Elie Hobeika and Karim Pakradouni rebelled against Abou Nader's command, ostensibly to take the Lebanese Forces back to its original path. The relationship between Geagea and Hobeika soon broke down, however, and Hobeika began secret negotiations with the Syrians. On December 28, 1985, he signed the Tripartite Accord, against the wishes of Geagea and most of the other leading Christian figures. Claiming that the Tripartite Accord gave Syria unlimited power in Lebanon, Geagea mobilized factions inside the Lebanese Forces and on January 15, 1986, attacked Hobeika's headquarters in Karantina. Hobeika surrendered and fled, first to Paris and subsequently to Damascus, Syria. He then moved to Zahlé with tens of his fighters where he prepared for an attack against East Beirut. On September 27, 1986, Hobeika's forces tried to take over the Achrafieh neighborhood of Beirut but the Lebanese Forces of Geagea's command held them back.

This failed attempt by Hobeika was the last episode of internal struggles in East Beirut during Amine Gemayel's mandate. As a result, the Lebanese Forces led by Geagea were the only major force on ground. During two years of frail peace, Geagea launched a drive to re-equip and reorganize the Lebanese Forces. He also instituted a social welfare program in areas controlled by Geagea's party. The Lebanese Forces also cut its relations with Israel and emphasized relations with the Arab states, mainly Iraq but also Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

The Elimination War (1988–1990)Edit

Two rival governments contended for recognition following Amine Gemayel's departure from the Presidency in September 1988, one a mainly Christian government and the other a government of Muslims and Lebanese Leftists. The Lebanese Forces initially supported the military Christian government led by Gen. Michel Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese Army. However, clashes erupted between the Lebanese Forces and the Lebanese Army under the control of Michel Aoun on February 14, 1989. These clashes were stopped, and after a meeting in Bkerké, the Lebanese Forces handed the national ports which it controlled to Aoun's government under pressure from the Lebanese National army.

Geagea initially supported Aoun's "Liberation War" against the Syrian army, but then agreed to the Taif Agreement, which was signed by the Lebanese deputies on 24 October 1989 in Saudi Arabia and demanded an immediate ceasefire. Aoun's main objection to the Taif Agreement was its vagueness as to Syrian withdrawal from the country. He rejected it vowing that he "would not sign over the country." Fierce fighting in East Beirut broke out between the two, called the "Elimination War" on January 31, 1990.

The Second Republic (1990–2005)Edit

After Aoun surrendered on 13 October 1990 to the rival Syrian-backed President Hrawi, Geagea was offered ministerial posts in the new government. He refused several times, because he was opposed to Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs, and his relationship with the new government deteriorated. On March 23, 1994, the Lebanese government headed by Rafic Hariri ordered the dissolution of the LF.[14] On April 21, 1994, Geagea was arrested on charges of setting a bomb in the church in Zouk, of instigating acts of violence, and of committing assassinations during the Lebanese Civil War. Although he was acquitted of the first charge, Geagea was subsequently arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment on several different counts, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Rashid Karami in 1987. He was incarcerated in solitary confinement, with his access to the outside world severely restricted. Amnesty International criticized the conduct of the trials and demanded Geagea's release, and Geagea's supporters argued that the Syrian-controlled Lebanese government had used the alleged crimes as a pretext for jailing Geagea and banning an anti-Syrian party. Many members of the Lebanese Forces were arrested and brutally tortured in the period of 1993-1994. At least one died in Syrian custody and many others were severely injured.[15]

Known unitsEdit

LF Marines - an Israeli trained naval infantry unit trained in seaborne infiltration, naval infantry operations, and reconnaissance. The Marines also operated over a dozen small watercraft. Wore light blue berets[16]

Force Sadem - a hand-picked company sized commando unit known for their ruthlessness and ability. Wore a red beret.[17]

101st Parachute Unit - a company sized parachute trained assault infantry unit.[18]

al-Maghaweer or Commandos - several units of assault infantry existed.[19]

Military Police - wore a red left sleeve brassard with white MP letters and a red circumferential band around their helmets with white MP letters superimposed on the front. Military policemen also wore white pistol belts and holsters.[20]

Force 75 - Brigade sized personal militia of Gemayel brothers.

Weapons and equipmentEdit

The Lebanese Forces were financed, trained and armed mainly by Israel, though they also received military support from the United States, South Africa, Jordan and Iraq; in addition to aid from the Israelis, the LF purchased a large part of their military supplies on the international black market, and also made use of captured stocks from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Syrian Army and even the Lebanese Army.

Infantry weaponsEdit

Lebanese Forces Infantryman armed with a M16A1 assault rifle
Lebanese Forces Infantry Division soldier armed with a RPG-7

Lebanese Forces's militiamen were provided with a variety of small-arms, comprising M1 Garand (or its Italian-produced copy, the Beretta Model 1952)[21] and SKS semi-automatic rifles, plus MAT-49, Škorpion vz. 61, Carl Gustav m/45 (or its Egyptian-produced version, dubbed the "Port Said"), Walther MPL, Sterling L2A3/Mark 4, Spectre M4, Uzi (MP-2, Mini Uzi and Micro Uzi variants), MAC-10, MAC-11 (sub-compact version of the MAC-10), Heckler & Koch MP5 and Heckler & Koch MP5K (shortened version of the MP5) submachine guns.

Several models of assault rifles were employed, such as M16A1,[22][23] FN FAL (variants included the Israeli-produced 'lightened' ROMAT M1953), Heckler & Koch G3, Vz. 58, AK-47 and AKM (other variants included the Zastava M70, Chinese Type 56, Romanian Pistol Mitralieră model 1963/1965, Bulgarian AKK/AKKS and former East German MPi assault rifles).[24] Limited quantities of the CAR-15 and SIG SG 543 carbines,[25] SIG SG 542, FN CAL, Heckler & Koch HK33, Heckler & Koch G41, Heckler & Koch G53 and ArmaLite AR-18 assault rifles were also acquired, being mostly employed by LF elite commando units on special operations. Inevitably, this hodgepodge of different models of assault rifles and carbines in service seriously strained the LF's own supply chain, so the LF Command decided after 1986 to simplify its small-arms inventory by standardizing on the FN FAL, M16A1 and AKM assault rifles for its infantry units, though this still posed logistical problems up to the end of the War.[26]

Shotguns consisted of Mossberg 500 12-gauge (20.2mm), Remington Model 870 Police Magnum 12-gauge (20.2mm) and Franchi SPAS-12 semi-automatic models. Sniper rifles were commonly used, and models included the Dragunov SVD-63,[27] Tabuk, M21, Remington Model 700, Savage 10FP/110FP, Enfield L42A1 (military version) and Enforcer (Police version) rifles, and the Heckler & Koch PSG1.

A wide variety of handguns' models were used, including Smith & Wesson Model 10, Smith & Wesson Model 13, Smith & Wesson Model 14, Smith & Wesson Model 15, Smith & Wesson Model 17 and Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolvers, Mauser M2 semi-automatic handguns, Walther PPK pistols,[28] Heckler & Koch VP 70, Heckler & Koch P7 and Heckler & Koch P9 pistols, SIG P210, SIG-Sauer P220 and SIG-Sauer P225 pistols, Astra A-80, Astra A-90 and Astra A-100 pistols, Llama M82 pistols, Star 30M, and Star A, B, B Super and P pistols, Star Ultrastar, Star Firestar and Star Megastar pistols, Taurus PT92, PT99 and PT100 pistols, Beretta M1951 pistols, MAB PA-15 pistols, Colt M1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistols, Para-Ordnance P14-45 (Canadian-produced version of the M1911A1 pistol), FN Browning Hi-Power pistols,[29] FN Browning BDM pistols, FN Browning BDA380 pistols, FN Browning HP-DA/BDA9 pistols, Tokarev TT-33 pistols, Makarov PM/PMM pistols, and CZ 52, CZ 75, CZ 82/83 and CZ 85 pistols.

Squad weapons consisted of Rheinmetall MG 3, Heckler & Koch HK21, AA-52, RPK, RPD, PK/PKM, M60 and FN MAG[30] light machine guns, with heavier Browning M1919A4 .30 Cal, Browning M2HB .50 Cal, SG-43/SGM Goryunov and DShK machine guns being employed as platoon and company weapons.

Grenade launchers and portable anti-tank weapons were also widely employed, including M203 grenade launchers,[31][32] CMS B-300 83mm Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapons (SMAW), M72 LAW, RPG-7 and M47 Dragon anti-tank rocket launchers. Anti-tank guided missile systems comprised the MILAN (allegedly obtained via South Africa), the BGM-71 TOW and the AT-3 Sagger.[33] Crew-served and indirect fire weapons included M224 60mm, M29 81mm, Type E1 51mm and 2B14-1 Podnos 82mm light mortars, plus M2 Carl Gustaf 84mm, SPG-9 73mm,[34] B-10 82mm, B-11 107mm and M40A1 106mm recoilless rifles (often mounted on technicals).[35]

Armoured vehiclesEdit

The Lebanese Forces' early armoured corps in 1977 inherited a motley collection of captured light tanks, Charioteer tanks, M42 Duster SPAAGs, APCs, and some models of locally tailored armoured cars[36] from the old Kataeb Regulatory Forces or handed over by the other, recently incorporated Christian factions. Thanks to the steady influx of Israeli aid, it grew from a small battalion to a powerful armoured corps by June 1982, capable of aligning some forty M50 Super Sherman medium tanks,[37][38][39] twenty-two Ti-67 TIRAN (Israeli-modified T-54/55s) MBTs[40] (other sources list a total of thirty-six Ti-67s on the LF inventory),[41] M3/M9 Zahlam half-tracks,[42] M113[43][44] and BTR-152[45] APCs. Following the PLO's withdrawal from west Beirut in October 1982, the LF salvaged seven UR-416 armoured cars left behind by the departing Palestinian forces, from which one vehicle was later captured by the Popular Nasserist Organization (PNO) militia during the battle for the Sidon bridgehead in 1985.[46] The collapse of the Lebanese Army's 4th Infantry Brigade in February 1984 allowed the LF to make up for their own losses incurred in the 1983-84 Mountain War by seizing seven M48A5 MBTs,[47][48][49] five AMX-13 light tanks,[50] and twelve Panhard AML-90 armoured cars.[51] Later in the war, sixty-four T-54A, T-55A[52] and T-62 tanks, along with eighteen BTR-60PB (8x8) APCs were received from Iraq via Jordan; a few M577 command vehicles and Panhard M3 VTT armoured personnel carriers were also seized from the Lebanese Army.[53] The LF also fielded three Soviet-built ZSU-23-4M Shilka SPAAGs captured from the PLO in West Beirut early in 1982, which they employed in their battles for control of east Beirut during the Elimination War in 1988–1990.

Transport and liaison vehiclesEdit

Besides tracked and wheeled AFVs, the LF also relied on a wide range of softskin, all-terrain military and 'militarized' civilian vehicles for both troop and supply transport. Like many other Lebanese militias, the LF continued to field a sizable force of gun-trucks or 'technicals' fitted with Heavy Machine-guns, recoilless rifles, Anti-Aircraft autocannons, anti-tank rockets and light MBRLs. The light vehicles employed in this role included Soviet UAZ-469, US M151A2 jeeps, US Willys M38A1 MD and South Korean KM-41 and Keohwa M-5GA1 jeeps,[54] to Land Rover Series II-III, Toyota Land Cruiser (J40), Chevrolet C-10 Cheyenne, Chevrolet C-15 Cheyenne and Chevrolet C-20 Scottsdale light pickup trucks,[55] Dodge Ram (1st generation) and Dodge Power Wagon W200 pickup trucks, Israeli-produced AIL M325 Command Cars ('Nun-Nun')[56] and Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 and 416 light trucks.

For logistical support, pickups and light, medium and heavy transportation trucks were employed, mostly Toyota Land Cruiser (J42) hardtop, Toyota Land Cruiser (J70) hardtop, AIL M325, M880/M890 Series CUCV, Chevrolet C-20,[57] Unimog light trucks, GAZ-66,[58] Chevrolet Series 50 light-duty, Dodge F600 medium-duty and GMC C7500 heavy-duty cargo trucks, US M35A1 and M35A2 2½-ton (6x6) military trucks, M813 cargo trucks[59] and Faun L912/21-MUN heavy cargo trucks. In addition, Chevrolet/GMC G-Series third generation vans[60] and Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter minibuses were used as military ambulances. The Israelis also provided to the LF a number of M88A1 medium recovery vehicles.[61]


The LF also fielded an impressive artillery corps. Starting with some British QF Mk III 25-Pounder field guns seized from the Government Forces, they received French DEFA D921/GT-2 90mm anti-tank guns and BF-50 (M-50) 155mm Howitzers[62] and M-30 122mm (M-1938) Howitzers from the Israelis, followed in the 1980s by D-44 85mm anti-tank guns,[63] M-46 130mm (M-1954),[64] Type 59-1 130mm (a Chinese-made gun derivered from the Soviet M-46), BS-3 100mm (M-1944), D-30 122mm and D-20 152mm Howitzers of Soviet origin supplied by Israel, Jordan and Iraq. A number of FH-70 155mm Howitzers were also seized from the Lebanese Army in February 1984.

The two latter Countries also provided to the LF substantial quantities of Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRLs), notably the BM-21 Grad 122mm system mounted on Russian Ural-375D (6x6) military trucks;[65] such MBRLs could also be found installed on the back of Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 (4x4) light trucks.[66] The LF also employed Chinese versions (Types 63 and 81) of the towed BM-12 107mm and BM-14 140mm MBRLs captured from the PLO in 1982 (with some being re-installed on the rear tray of Israeli-made 'Nun-Nun' Command cars)[67] as well as Iraqi-supplied Romanian APR-40/Yugoslav RO-40 128mm systems mounted on DAC-665T (6x6) trucks.[68] Iraq also provided a small number of Frog-7 short-range artillery rockets mounted on wheeled 9P113 transporter erector launchers (TEL).[69][70]

These same countries also gave the LF limited quantities of heavy mortars, such as the Israeli-made Soltam M-65 120mm[71] and M-66 160mm heavy mortars mounted on ex-IDF half-tracks and modified M113 APCs, and even received from Iraq in 1988 three Soviet 2S4 240mm towed breech-loading heavy mortars.

Soviet KPV 14.5mm, ZPU (ZPU-1, ZPU-2, ZPU-4) 14.5mm and ZU-23-2 23mm AA autocannons, British Bofors 40mm L/60 anti-aircraft guns[72] and Soviet AZP S-60 57mm anti-aircraft guns[73] (mostly mounted on technicals, M113 and BTR-152 APCs and M3/M9 half-tracks)[74] were employed in both air defense and direct fire supporting roles. Man-portable, shoulder-launched Soviet SA-7 Grail surface-to-air missiles (SAM) were also used by the LF, possibly obtained from Iraq.[75]

Sea craftEdit

Apart from its ground forces, the LF maintained a naval branch employed as a shock force for military operations equipped with over a dozen sea crafts of various types. The inventory comprized two British-made Fairey Marine Tracker MkII Class patrol boats previously seized from the Lebanese Navy in January 1980, five Israeli-made Dabur-1 class patrol boats acquired via the Mossad that same year[76][77] and eight French-made Zodiac rubber inflatable boats, plus an unspecified number of converted civilian fishing crafts armed with Heavy machine-guns and RPG-7s.[78]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harris (p. 162) notes "the massacre of 1,500 Palestinians, Shi'is, and others in Karantina and Maslakh, and the revenge killings of hundreds of Christians in Damur"
  2. ^ "Historical Fact: The Massacre and Destruction of Damour". Lebanese Forces. Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  3. ^ "Tel El Zaatar 1976 'Tal el zaatar' ' Tel al zaatar '". Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  4. ^ "LEBANON: Beirut's Agony Under the Guns of March". Time. April 5, 1976.
  5. ^ Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Historical Fact: The Battle of Zahle - 1981". Lebanese Forces. Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  7. ^ قصة الموارنة في الحرب - جوزيف أبو خليل
  8. ^ Kahan, Yitzhak, Barak, Aharon, Efrat, Yona (1983) The Commission of Inquiry into events at the refugee camps in Beirut 1983 FINAL REPORT (Authorized translation) p.108 has "This report was signed on 7 February 1982." p7
  9. ^ تاريخ في رجل ---> من قتل بشير - إنقلاب بشيري أم إنقلاب إسرائيلي
  10. ^ President Reagan and the World by Eric J. Schmertz, Natalie Datlof, Alexej Ugrinsky, Hofstra University
  11. ^ Special to the New York Times (1982-09-04). "Begin Said to Meet in Secret With Beirut's President-Elect". The New York Times. "Begin Said to Meet in Secret With Beirut's President-Elect"
  12. ^ أسرار الحرب في لبنان
  13. ^ "Phalangists Identify Bomber Of Gemayel As Lebanese Leftist". The New York Times. October 3, 1982. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Lebanon Detains Christian in Church Blast. New York Times, March 24, 1994. Retrieved on 2008-02-13.
  15. ^ UN Commission on Human Rights - Torture - Special Rapporteur's Report. United Nations Economic and Social Council, January 12, 1995. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
  16. ^ Arab armies of the Middle East Wars (2), Osprey Men-at-Arms 194 by Samuel Katz 1988 ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  17. ^ Arab armies of the Middle East Wars (2), Osprey Men-at-Arms 194 by Samuel Katz 1988 ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  18. ^ Arab armies of the Middle East Wars (2), Osprey Men-at-Arms 194 by Samuel Katz 1988 ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  19. ^ Arab armies of the Middle East Wars (2), Osprey Men-at-Arms 194 by Samuel Katz 1988 ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  20. ^ Arab armies of the Middle East Wars (2), Osprey Men-at-Arms 194 by Samuel Katz 1988 ISBN 0-85045-800-5
  21. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 31.
  22. ^ Katz, Russel, and Volstad, Armies in Lebanon (1985), pp. 40-41, Plate D2.
  23. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 46, Plate H2.
  24. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 47, Plate H3.
  25. ^ Katz, Russel, and Volstad, Armies in Lebanon (1985), p. 16.
  26. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 36.
  27. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 35.
  28. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 47, Plate H3.
  29. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 46, Plate H1.
  30. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 47, Plate H4.
  31. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 46, Plate H1.
  32. ^ Rottman, US Grenade Launchers – M79, M203, and M320 (2017), p. 22.
  33. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 36.
  34. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 31.
  35. ^ Neville, Technicals: Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces (2018), p. 15.
  36. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 30.
  37. ^ TIME Magazine, September 1, 1980.
  38. ^ Laffin, The War of Desperation: Lebanon 1982-85 (1985), p. 40.
  39. ^ Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2012), p. 62.
  40. ^ TIME Magazine, September 13, 1976.
  41. ^ Menargues, Les Secrets de la guerre du Liban (2004), p. 85.
  42. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 41.
  43. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 35.
  44. ^ Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2012), pp. 62-63.
  45. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 37.
  46. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), p. 56.
  47. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 36.
  48. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), pp. 63-64.
  49. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 48.
  50. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 36.
  51. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 36.
  52. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), pp. 8; 32-36.
  53. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), pp. 39; 47.
  54. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 35.
  55. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 32.
  56. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), pp. 32-33.
  57. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 32.
  58. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 31.
  59. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 33.
  60. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 27.
  61. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), p. 53.
  62. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 55.
  63. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 54.
  64. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), pp. 33; 55.
  65. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 56.
  66. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 30.
  67. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), p. 66.
  68. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 56.
  69. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 9.
  70. ^ Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2) (1998), p. 64.
  71. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), pp. 41-43.
  72. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 38.
  73. ^ Jureidini, McLaurin, and Price, Military operations in selected Lebanese built-up areas (1979), pp. 16-21, 32-36, 52; Appendix A, A-10, Table 3; Appendix D, D-5.
  74. ^ Micheletti and Debay, Liban – dix jours aux cœur des combats (1989), p. 37.
  75. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 36.
  76. ^ Hoy and Ostrovsky, By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer (1990), p. 304.
  77. ^ Menargues, Les Secrets de la guerre du Liban (2004), p. 110.
  78. ^ Katz and Volstad, Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 2 (1988), p. 47, Plate H4.
  1. أحزاب سياسية في لبنان


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Secondary sourcesEdit

  • Gordon L. Rottman, US Grenade Launchers – M79, M203, and M320, Weapon series 57, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2017. ISBN 978 1 4728 1952 9
  • Leigh Neville, Technicals: Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces, New Vanguard series 257, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oxford 2018. ISBN 9781472822512
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Blue Steel 2: M-3 Halftracks in South Lebanon, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2006.
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Blue Steel III: M-113 Carriers in South Lebanon, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2007.
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Blue Steel IV: M-50 Shermans and M-50 APCs in South Lebanon, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2007.
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Civil Wars Volume 1: The Gun Trucks, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2008. ISBN 978-9953012568
  • Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003. ISBN 9953-0-0705-5
  • Samer Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon 1975-1981, Trebia Publishing, Chyah 2012. ISBN 978-9953-0-2372-4
  • Samuel M. Katz and Ron Volstad, Battleground Lebanon, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1990. ISBN 962-361-003-3
  • Steven J. Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2): The wars of 1973 to the present, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1998. ISBN 962-361-613-9
  • Steven J. Zaloga, ZSU-23-4 Shilka & Soviet Air Defense Gun Vehicles, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1993. ISBN 962-361-039-4

External linksEdit