A new army came into being in the Lebanon in late January. It is made?
SV Arab soldiers on armoured vehicle
MV Soldiers with machine gun on vehicle
MV PAN Soldiers standing on vehicle giving victory sign
SV Lieutenant Abdallah speaking in French (3 shots)
SV Lieutenant Ydlibi speaking in English (2 shots)
This film shows members of the Lebanese-Arab Army, and includes interviews with two of the officers - Lieutenant Abdallah (speaking in French), and Lieutenant Ydlibi (speaking in English). A transcript of Lieutenant Ydlibi's remarks is given below.
YDLIBI: Well, first I want to say that this Army, the Lebanese-Arabic Army, is not a Moslem army. It is an army for all the Lebanese, Moslem and Christian. We have in this army, thirty to forty per cent of Christian soldiers. So I want to say to all the Lebanese that this army is not a Moslem army and it is not a kind of Moslem against Christian. It is a national army - a national Rabic army for all the Lebanese. The official Army of the Lebanese Republic was dong so many actions for one side against the other. Officially, an army, a national army must be for all the Lebanese. We have been seeing from our experiences, from our battles and all the Lebanese interior country, we have seen that this army was held to one side against the other.
Initials CL/1907 CL/1915
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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.