Syrian troops accompanied 70 families from the defeated Moslem enclave of Nabaa back to their homes - or what was left of their homes - in Nabaa on Monday (6 September).
Syrian troops accompanied 70 families from the defeated Moslem enclave of Nabaa back to their homes - or what was left of their homes - in Nabaa on Monday (6 September). Nabaa is between rightist held eastern Beirut and the right-wing stronghold of Jounieh, and the Falangists and Christians took the enclave early last month to complete their domination of the area.
SYNOPSIS: Syrian officers had organised a convoy to take the refugees on the last and most dangerous stage of their journey from Ferraya to Nabaa. The refugees had been staying in Baalbek, an eastern Lebanese town about a hundred miles (kilometres) from Nabaa.
In Baalbek, the town the refugees ha left, behind anti-Syrian rioting broke out during the day in protest against the continued Syrian occupation and the increasingly tough measures imposed to stop a wave of sabotage. In front of the convoy there was also fighting as rightists struggled to reopen the direct route from the provisional right-wing capital of Jounieh to the rest of eastern Lebanon and Syria.
Nabaa and the Palestinian refugee camp of Tel Al Zaatar had been the only Moslem held areas in the eastern Beirut area. When leaders of Nabaa's Shiite Moslem community agreed to surrender in early August after months of holding out against right-wing forces, Falangist leader Pierre Gemayal, said Lebanese people registered as Nabaa residents would be allowed to remain but the fate of the Palestinians in the area was still under discussion.
When they reached home the refugees must have wondered whether it was worth the journey. Looters had been through the area stripping homes and shops. The streets were still full of the debris of war and despite continuing attempts to arrange peace, a general ceasefire looks no nearer and these people remain Moslems in a Christian held area.