Monday, August 29, 1983

Military Action:

10,000-13,000 Lebanese Army troops cordon off 14 sq. km. area around Hayy al-Sollom and Burj al-Barajneh, begin sweep against Muslim militias, heavy fighting from dawn to noon, Army occupies 2 sq. km., claims to have captured Amal HQin Burj al-Barajneh; Druze gunners in Upper Metn fire artillery and rockets at East Beirut and industrial areas, and in support of Amal militia; US Marines come under fire, use 155 mm artillery, 81 mm mortars, rockets from Cobra helicopter gunships against Shi'ite positions near airport and in foothills; Amal militia drives Lebanese Army from garrison and checkpoints in West Beirut, Mourabitoun militia takes control of streets; Amal takes over Beirut TV station; snipers posted on rooftops, firing continues throughout day and evening.


2 US Marines killed, 14 wounded by mortar fire; 11 Lebanese soldiers killed, 60 wounded, estimated 12-50 kidnapped; civilian casualties estimated at 20 dead, 100+ wounded, 1 Lebanese Air Force fighter bomber destroyed at airport, 2 damaged; 2-4 Lebanese Army APCs, several tanks captured.

Political Responses:

PalestiniansI Lebanese: Gemayel convenes emergency session of Cabinet; Amal leader Nabih Berri says he wants no problems with US, denies that US positions were fired on by Amal militia.

US and Other Countries: Reagan accepts recommendation of crisis management group, headed by VP Bush, that there is no need to expand size or change role of US force in Lebanon; members of Congress press for declaration that fighting in Lebanon triggers provisions of War Powers Resolution; White House says attack on Marines was outgrowth of Syria's refusal to withdraw its troops and Syrian influence over Lebanese factions.

UN: 10-day Conference on Palestine opens under heavy security in Geneva, more than 90 countries participate, US, Canada, Israel boycott.