October 13 massacre

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October 13 massacre
Part of Lebanese Civil War
Location Beirut, Lebanon
Date 13 October 1990
Target Lebanese Army elements of East Beirut
Attack type
Military operations and Execution
Deaths 500-700 killed during the fighting
Additionally at least 240 unarmed prisoners executed, including civilians[1]
Perpetrators Syrian Army, Hafez al-Assad

The October 13 Massacre took place on 13 October 1990, during the final period of the Lebanese Civil War, when hundreds of Lebanese Army soldiers were executed after they surrendered to the Syrian Army.[2]


After months of skirmishes, the Syrian Army and Lebanese militias then aligned with Damascus (mainly the Progressive Socialist Party and the Amal movement) backed up by Lebanese Forces artillery[citation needed] stormed the holdout of the military government of East Beirut, led by Gen. Michel Aoun, who had declared a "War of Liberation" against Syria earlier during the year, and had just escaped a mysterious assassination attempt the previous day. Aoun's forces were headquartered around the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Beirut. The Aounist areas were quickly overrun.

While the main confrontation was clearly a military one, the attackers afterwards in many instances turned to plundering, and tens of Aounist army soldiers and civilians were summarily executed by Syrian Army soldiers or the militias, as they cemented their hold on the capital.

The attack on the Aoun government marks the end of the Lebanese Civil War. Syria would dominate the political life of the country for the following 15 years, under the auspices of the Taif Agreement.

International support

For the first time since the 1982 air battle, the Syrian Air force jets were allowed to enter the Lebanese air space in order to strike General Aoun military forces. Seven Soviet-made Sukhoi Su-24 jets were used in this operation. [3] An international green light was given to Hafez al-Assad to invade Lebanon, since he promised to assist in the Gulf War with about 10,000 soldiers and 200 tanks.

Death count

  • Lebanese Civil war 13 October 1990 at 7:00 a.m The Syrian Army invaded the Eastern areas which support the Lebanese Army. An estimated 700 people were killed by the Syrian soldiers that day and 2000 had been injured. Estimates of the Lebanese Army losses during the battle, of whom a proportion were executed by the Syrians and including Prisoners of War as between 400 and 500 soldiers. It was also reported[4] that at least 200 supporters of General Aoun, most of them military personnel, were arrested by the Syrian forces in east Beirut and its suburbs, these men simply disappeared. At least 15 civilians were executed by Syrian soldiers in Bsous after having been rounded up from their homes.

One hospital "received 73 bodies of Lebanese army soldiers, each executed at close range with a bullet in the lower right side of the skull" and that 15 civilians were killed by the Syrians in the Bsus. The killing of National Liberal Party (NLP) leader Danny Chamoun, which occurred a couple of days later, was also connected to these incidents.


  1. ^ HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORLD REPORT 1990: An Annual Review of Developments and the Bush Administration's Policy on Human Rights Worldwide, January 1991, Human Rights Watch, page 507.
  2. ^ Lebanon since 1979: Syria, Hizballah, and the War against Peace in the Middle East, By Marius Deeb, in The Middle East enters the twenty-first century, By Robert Owen Freedman, Baltimore University 2002, page 214.
  3. ^ SU-24 over Baabda area. Retrieved: 14 October 2015.
  4. ^ http://www.liberty05.com/civilwar/civil5.html

External links

  • Pictures from the Lebanese Civil War October 13 More than 300 tanks attacked the Christian region in Mount Lebanon and Beirut.


  • William Harris, Faces of Lebanon. Sects, Wars, and Global Extensions (Markus Wiener Publishers, Princeton, USA 1996)

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