A new army came into being in the Lebanon in late January. It is made?
A new army came into being in the Lebanon in late January. It is made up of rebel members of the Lebanese regular Army, and is called the Lebanese-Arab Army.
It was formed by First Lieutenant Ahmed Al-Khatib, who deserted from the Lebanese Army during the civil war fighting in January, claiming that regular Army commanders had been helping right-wing forces.
The Lebanese Prime Minister, Mr. Rashid Karami, offered his resignation partly because of an alleged attack on left-wing positions by Lebanese aircraft. Mr. Karami claimed that the attack was carried out by the military against his explicit orders, but an Army spokesman maintained that the Army did not take sides - it only defended itself when attacked.
According to the pro-Libyan newspaper Al-kifah Al-Arabi, Lieutenant Khatib has the support of several officers and about a thousand soldiers. The paper said the Army could be a serious threat to the official Lebanese Army, which has only fifteen thousand men.
Another pro-Libyan newspaper, Al-Safir, has blamed the new Lebanese-Arab Army for an incident after the ceasefire last Wednesday (28 January) when two soldiers were killed in an ambush on Army unit near a Syrian border post at Masnaa.