Lebanese President elect Elias Sarkis has preliminary talks with the country's warring factions in Beirut on Friday (3 September) as Syria was reported to have approved his plans for a settlement of the 17 month old civil war.
Lebanese President elect Elias Sarkis has preliminary talks with the country's warring factions in Beirut on Friday (3 September) as Syria was reported to have approved his plans for a settlement of the 17 month old civil war. There have been 55 unsuccessful attempts at a ceasefire in the Lebanon but Reuters news agency in Beirut reports that there has been speculation recently that the Syrians will take military action if positive move towards peace are not made within the next three weeks. Beirut itself has been relatively quiet for about a week.
SYNOPSIS: This is the hotel area of Palestinian and Lebanese leftist held west Beirut, which was earlier the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the civil war.
The Falangists and their right-wing allies tried to hold onto this area to stop the leftists having complete control from the centre of the city to the sea, but they finally retreated after heavy fighting.
A leftist faction is named after this man - the late Egyptian leader Gamel Abdol Nasser. The Holiday Inn, one of these badly shelled hotels, was a Falangist stronghold, and when the leftists took over, portraits of Nasser and other leftist insignia appeared on enemy positions.
Shortly after the leftists gained full control of this area of west Beirut the Falangists and their right-wing allies took the offensive by mounting their bloody and eventually successful attack on the Palestinian refuge camp of Tel Al Zaatar.
There were fierce artillery battle south east of the capital last week between Syrians and leftists and Palestinian forces on Monday (30 August) but in Beirut itself there have been appreciably fewer agreement between the two warring factions to stop the random shelling of each other's areas.
This area is Palestinian held. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader's second in command Abu Ayad warned on Thursday that if the Syrians and Lebanese rightists pushed the Palestinians to desperation the Palestinians would retaliate with a savage explosion of guerrilla warfare in the four corners of the world. Mr Ayad said the Palestinians were prepared to lay down their arms and make concession but the Syrians did not even want to discuss the matter.