1976 - Lebanese Civil War
Title: 1976 - Lebanese Civil War
About: Blood is spilt in the streets of Beirut as bitter fighting between the Maronite Christian ruling minority and Islamic elements escalated in the early stages of a bitter and divisive conflict that lasts until 1990.
In the early 1970s, difficulties arose in Lebanon over the presence of Palestinian refugees, many of whom arrived after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and 1970 hostilities in Jordan. Among the latter were Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Coupled with the Palestinian problem, Muslim and Christian differences grew more intense.
Militia shoot-outs quickly escalated jnto streetfights that turned whole neighbourhoods of Beirut into battlegrounds. During the course of the fighting, alliances shifted rapidly and unpredictably. Furthermore, foreign powers, such as Israel and Syria, became involved in the war and fought alongside different factions.
Despite the urgent need to control the fighting, the political machinery of the government became paralyzed, with a minority, specifically the Maronite Christians, refusing to share power and economic opportunity with the Muslim majority. The government could not act effectively because leaders were unable to agree on whether or not to use the army to stop the bloodletting.
As various groups took sides, the fighting spread to other areas of the country, forcing residents in towns with mixed populations to seek safety in regions where their sect was dominant. Even so, the militias became embroiled in a pattern of attack followed by retaliation, including acts against uninvolved civilians.
The conflict witnessed a series of brutal massacres, driven by a toxic mix of sectarian and religious hatred, as well as competing national and regional interests. Much of the once-magnificent city of Beirut was reduced to rubble and the town divided into Muslim and Christian sectors, separated by the so-called Green Line.
Region: Middle East
Country: Lebanon + Syria
Conflict: Regional War
Type: Historical Event
Artist: Jaroslaw Marcinek
Price: 0.4 ETH