Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fighting over? - yeah right!

According to Lebanon's Minister of Defense, Elias Murr, the battle in the Naher al Bared refugee camp is over. The Lebanese army has won, the islamists from Fatah al Islam have finally lost.

Well...I literally just came back from the camp (having camped the whole afternoon 700 meters outside, sitting on a rooftop, overlooking the camp) and the fighting was very heavy. Constant machine gunfire. Lot's of shelling. Mortars were fired from a hill over our heads into the camp. Very loud explosions. Smoke everywhere. Close to the main road - the smell of rotting bodies. Not pleasant.
I understand that many Lebanese are kind of used to war. But to call the fighting in Naher al bared camp over? Just not true.
Nonetheless, it is very clear that Fatah al Islam is loosing. Compared to a week ago, the camp is much more destroyed. Large apartment blocks - pretty deep into the camp - have apparently been taken over by the Lebanese army because on some of these buildings I spotted the Lebanese flag. Also on the South-east side of the camp, the army has taken over an important Fatah al Islam bunker/building. From it, the islamists would regularly fire mortars or RPG's at nearby army positions. Here now as well a Lebanese flag on top of the bunker/building.
Since Fatah al Islam is fully encircled by the Lebanese army, it is only a matter of time before the islamists inside will be defeated. But believe me...the Lebanese Army victory did not occur today. Maybe tomorrow - who knows.
I made picture above today (late afternoon on Thursday) from nearby the Naher al Bared camp. You can see the smoke form very recent shelling and the Lebanese flags inside the camp. In the back; a war ship.

Harald Doornbos


Martijn Z said...

Damm wat een foto ook.
Wel wonderbaarlijk altijd hoe de overheid soms kan reageren op zaken... Ik blijf me er over verbazen.

pina said...

isn't it always like this in Lebanon? everyone claims victory. why do u think we don't even have a history books? Simply because everyone sees the past, present and future from a different perspective.