In Lebanon, fierce fighting broke out between Syrian forces and right-wing Lebanese militias on Saturday (23 September) in the Christian suburbs of the capital, Beirut.
In Lebanon, fierce fighting broke out between Syrian forces and right-wing Lebanese militias on Saturday (23 September) in the Christian suburbs of the capital, Beirut. Rightist forces said the syrian-dominated Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) fired about two hundred and fifty shells into the densely-populated residential area of Ashrafiyah, setting fire to several buildings. The right-wing Falangist Radio claimed that eight people had been wounded by shelling during the night. The fighting flared only minutes after President Elias Sarkis appealed for an end to prolonged violence which has divided the country.
SYNOPSIS: Ain Rumanneh was one of the areas in Beirut where fighting broke out. Christian militiamen poured fire at Syrian positions from a machine-gun mounted on a jeep. The resumption of machine-gun and artillery fire followed a night of sporadic snipping in the Christian districts. After years of civil war, even small children have become used to handling real, and sophisticated firearms, and shells.
Recurring violence has become part of the pattern of life for these residents. An Arab Force statement said their men had retaliated with what they called 'appropriate' weapons against gunmen who had opened fore on them with heavy machine-guns. President Sarkis had announced that the security situation meant that the thirty-thousand strong ADF should stay on in Lebanon. Right-wing leaders oppose extending the force's six-months' mandate, which expires on October the 26th.