Wednesday, August 31, 1983

Military Action:

24-hour curfew declared in Beirut; 300 Lebanese Rangers make helicopter landing, attack militia positions at Holiday Inn, other hotels; 6,000-10,000 Lebanese Army troops make combined armor and infantry sweep into West Beirut, recapture positions lost in past two days; Corniche Mazraa occupied by special force of 300, using mortars and tanks; artillery shelling continues from mountain positions; Italian MNF compound hit by 12 artillery rounds; Commodore Hotel hit by several shells; army sets up checkpoints near port area, occupies Mourabitoun HQ, Amal militia, Army maintain informal cease-fire in Shi'ite neighborhoods; heavy fighting occurs in Tripoli between rival Muslim militias.


18-22 civilians killed, 49 wounded in Beirut; 21 Lebanese soldiers killed, 87 wounded, bringing total Army casualties in past 4 days to 42 killed, 176 wounded; Mourabitoun and Amal militia leaders placed under house arrest; part of US Special Forces unit, training Lebanese Army, evacuated from Cadmos Hotel to British Embassy; 25 killed, 60 wounded in Tripoli battles.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Foreign Minister Shamir and Deputy PM Levy emerge as competing candidates to succeed Begin.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: After emergency Cabinet meeting, Gemayel invites 11 opposition leaders to join in national reconciliation conference; Jumblatt says Gemayel's call for direct dialogue among factional groups is out of the question; Berri condemns Army's move into West Beirut, calls on other Arab states to stop the massacre of Muslims.