Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBeirut

Gemayel Foes Mass Forces Near Beirut

January 20, 1986|United Press International

BEIRUT — Syrian-backed militias fired on Christian strongholds and massed their forces near crucial confrontation lines today as their leaders moved to politically isolate the government of President Amin Gemayal.

Military sources said the Muslim leaders have not decided whether to mount an all-out offensive against the Christian president, whom they blame for the collapse of an inter-militia peace pact intended to end 11 years of civil war.

The sources said gunners from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a Lebanese Muslim militia, opened up with heavy artillery this afternoon on Gemayel's mountain stronghold at Bikfaya, 11 miles northeast of Beirut.

Members of the Progressive Socialist Party, a Druze Muslim militia, fought army units loyal to Gemayel with machine guns and rocket grenades in the Shouf Mountains east of the city, the sources said.

Militia Units Massing

Other witnesses reported seeing Druze and other militia units massing in the Shouf Mountains and near Bikfaya. A similar buildup was reported around Souq el Gharb, a Lebanese army garrison seven miles southeast of Beirut.

The military sources said the Muslim militias are building up their strength after being surprised over the weekend at the success of army counterattacks around Bikfaya.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|