Beirut 1978, Phalangist soldier.

War of certain areas of Lebanon lasting for 16 years and 7 months, beginning on April 13, 1975 and ending on October 13, 1990, but with pauses.

The war was fought between religious as well as political groups. The main groups were the Maronite Christians, Shi’i Muslims, the DruzePLO, the Israeli army and the Syrian army.

In the beginning of the war there 3 main fronts:

1. Lebanese National Movement (LNM) led by Kamal Jumblat, a prominent Druze.

2. Lebanese Front led by Camille Chamoun. This faction was dominated by Maronite Christians. Rather soon the front got aid from Muslim Syria.

3. Lebanese Forces, led by Bashir Gemayel, like Chamoun also a Maronite Christian, yet his group allied with the PLO.

While the war was a bloody one with as many as 150,000 dead and even more injured, the economic losses were no less startling, estimated to have between US$8 and 12 billion.

1975 April 13: The Phalange militia attacks Palestinians in East Beirut. This was the spark setting off fighting all over the country, which would in its first stage last for over a year.
1976 January: Intense fighting all over the country destroys the most important state institutions and public buildings.
— April: The alliance of LNM and PLO has managed to take control of nearly 70% of Lebanon.
— June: Syrian troops invade Lebanon and soon become the strongest party in the country, controlling many of the most important strategic positions.
— September: Following a Libya brokered cease-fire, Elias Sarkis wins in a Syria controlled presidential election.
— November: A truce takes hold across the country, except in the south where PLO faces a Christian militia supported by Israel.
1978 March 14: Israeli troops invade southern Lebanon, aiming at creating a buffer zone 10 km deep into Lebanese territory. But Israel found the land easy to occupy, and soon controlled the southern 10% of the country.
— May: International pressure makes Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory, and ends up with a buffer zone of between 4 and 12 km all along Lebanon’s southern border.
1979 May: Fighting between the Phalange and the National Liberal Party (of Chamoun) start.
1980 July: The Phalange suppresses the National Liberal Party.
1981 April: A cease-fire in southern Lebanon, brokered by the USA between Israel, Syria, and PLO.
1982 January: Israel resumes its arms shipments to the Maronite Christians.
— June 6: Israel invades Lebanon from its southern border, and its forces start advancing north. Within a few days, they had captured important southern cities of Tyre and Sayda and entered Beirut.
— September 14: President-elect Bashir Gemayel is killed in an explosion directed at the headquarters of the Phalange party.
— September 15: Israeli troops move into Beirut.
— September 16: The Phalangists gets help from Israeli troops to close off the Sabra and Shatila districts of Beirut, and then start a massacre of the Palestinian inhabitants of the area. In 3 days, about 2,000 children, men, and women are killed.
— September 20: A Western Multi-National Force is started to be deployed in Beirut, consisting of US, British, French, and Italian troops.
— September 21: Amin Gemayel is elected president by the parliament.
— September 29: The Israeli troops leave Beirut.
1983 May 17: Israel signs the Lebanese-Israeli Peace Treaty.
— September 3: Israeli troops withdraw from the Shouf region, and the Phalange militia and the Lebanese army move in, resulting in a war between them and the PLO-Druze alliance. The Lebanese army soon got aid from USA and France.
— September 25: A cease-fire is brokered between the fighting parties.
— October 23: Terrorist attacks on the US and French military headquarters, killing 241 US and 59 French troops.
— November: A reconciliation conference is held in Geneva, Switzerland.
1984 February 3: The Lebanese army and the Lebanese Forces attacks Shi’i suburbs of West Beirut. This resulted in fighting between the army and the Lebanese Forces and the Amal-Druze alliance.
— February 7: The USA withdraws its forces from Beirut. Soon after the other Western countries did the same.
1984 March 5: Lebanon cancels the Lebanese-Israeli peace treaty of May 1983.
— March: A second reconciliation conference is held, this time in Lausanne, Switzerland. A reconciliation government is formed.
1985 June 6: Israel completes the withdrawal of the agreed number of troops from south Lebanon, leaving only 1,000. Instead, Israel starts supporting a Christian militia in the area.
— December: Commanders from Amal, the Druze, and the Lebanese Forces sign an agreement to solve the crisis, basing it much upon support from Syria. The agreement becomes, however, ineffective, due to tensions in the Lebanese Forces.
1987 February: Fighting between Amal and Druze militia in West Beirut. Syria sends in troops to cool down the situation.
1988 April: Fighting between Amal and Hizbullah in southern Lebanon, lasting for nearly 2 months.
— September 22: Michel Aoun forms a military government, following that the parliament fails to elect a new president.
1989 February: The Lebanese army attacks the Lebanese Forces in the Christian parts of Beirut.
— May: Aoun declares a liberation war against Syria.
— August: 14 Lebanese groups form a front against Aoun.
— October: Discussions in At Ta’ifSaudi Arabia between most of the surviving Lebanese parliamentarians (58 attendings, 4 not, the last elections had been held in 1972). They emerged on the National Reconciliation Charter dividing the parliament seats equally between Christians and Muslims (the Muslims represented more than 60% of the population, but this agreement was still an improvement from 1943 which gave the majority to the Christians with 6 to 5), leaving the presidency in the hands of the Christians (but reducing his powers), and allowing the continued presence of Syrian troops. The charter was agreed upon by most delegates, save 4 Muslim. Michel Aoun on Christian side, rejected it, but the Maronite front accepted it.
— November 5: Rene Muawad is elected president by the parliament.
— November 22: Muawad is assassinated.
— November 24: Elias Hrawi is elected president.
1990 January: Heavy fighting between Aoun’s troops and the Lebanese Forces, which declared allegiance to Hrawi. Aoun is able to take control of 35% of the Christian part of Beirut.
— April: Implementation of the National Reconciliation Charter starts.
— October: Following an air and ground campaign, Lebanese and Syrian troops are able to defeat Aoun and his soldiers. This marks the end of the 16 years of civil war.

1991 May 9: In accordance with the National Reconciliation Charter of 1989, the parliament gives an equal representation in parliament to Muslims and Christians.
— May 22: Hrawi and Hafez al-Assad of Syria signs a treaty of cooperation between the 2 countries. This gave Syrian to a great extent control over Lebanon’s foreign affairs, defense, and economy, a situation that persists until now (2002).


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