Monday, September 19, 1983

Military Action:

2 US warships engage in first direct military support of LAF, bombard PSP positions near Souq al-Gharb with 350+ rounds of 5-inch shells (heaviest naval bombardment since Vietnam war) after militiamen penetrate Souq al-Gharb defenses, capture 3 strategic hilltops; PSP says it downed Lebanese Air Force fighter-bomber; air Force attacks, damages anti-aircraft batteries near Batroun, north of Beirut; artillery barrages hit East Beirut; 24 hour curfew imposed in Beirut's southern suburbs; bomb damages IDF convoy near Nabatieh.


Heavy but unspecified casual- ties reported on both sides of Souq al- Gharb battle, including casualties from naval bombardment; 5 IDF soldiers wounded near Nabatieh.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Druze citizens of Israel demonstrate outside US Embassy in Tel Aviv to protest US military support for LAF.

US and Other Countries: US officials say use of naval gunfire at Souq al-Gharb (when no direct threat to US personnel existed), is necessary because successfui LAF defense of the area is vital to safety of US personnel, and loss of the position could undermine stability of Gemayel government; French Foreign Minister says US shelling is not best way to solve Lebanese crisis.