After three full days of sniping and artillery fire the Lebanese army has succeeded in reopening the port of Beirut.
After three full days of sniping and artillery fire the Lebanese army has succeeded in reopening the port of Beirut. The port has been the scene of renewed fighting between the Christians and Moslems for many years, and the killing of worker there last month (30 July), began the total shutdown of the harbour facilities. And in southern Lebanon israeli gunboats and aircraft have stepped up their attacks on suspected guerrilla bases. On Saturday (18 August) they struck once again at the southern city of Tyre.
SYNOPSIS: The gunboats slipped into Lebanese waters on Saturday night (18 August). In the past three days the Israeli's have mounted at least four attacks on Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon. The shelling started a number of fires in the port city, and damaged several building. In the past week the israeli's have mounted several artillery attacks on the south as well. In one attack by Israeli and Christian forces three villages were shelled, however no casualties were reported. And Israeli aircraft have also been making regular runs into Lebanon, attacking what Israeli military officials call, "points of departure for Palestinian guerrilla attacks."
Israeli commandos have also been making trips into Lebanon. On Tuesday (14 August) commandos killed sight Palestinians when they carried out a raid on a coastal road near Tyre. The Israeli's say these attacks are part of a new policy of pre-emptive strikes at Palestinian positions, rather than retaliatory actions after specific attacks.
Meanwhile Tyre has been severely crippled by the continued fighting. Much of the city has been reduced to rubble, and the number of people fleeing the shelling continues to mount.
Meanwhile in Beirut, the Lebanese army has succeeded in re-opening the city's port. For three days, nipping and artillery fire kept the Lebanese forces in check, preventing it from asserting its authority. The harbour workers' union called a strike at the port in late July to protest the killing of dock worker.
The harbour district is near to one of beirut's main combat zones. It is also one of Beirut's major commercial areas, and the fighting that continually turned it into a virtual no-man's land.
The Lebanese Army is attempting to restore government authority in the country, however, they are heavily outnumbered tna and outgunned by rival party militiamen who control large areas of the country. Several times this year Beirut has been the central point to flare ups between the Army and Christian gunmen. The most recent fighting which closed down the port was over which sectors of the city the Army should be allowed to control, and which should be dominated by the militias.