Talk:Attack on Wadi Khaled and Heesha (Lebanon)

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The Basic Story

Note that nearly all starter points of this date are from one source: Tension high after Syria army kills four in Lebanon The Daily Star (Lebanon), February 25, 2013 02:05 AM. [1] --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Lebanon’s president and prime minister urged Syria Sunday to stop shelling Lebanese territory after four Lebanese were killed by gunfire from the Syrian side of the border, in incidents that heightened tensions on the two neighbors’ frontier.
The renewal of deadly incidents on the Lebanese-Syrian border, which had claimed the lives of several Lebanese citizens last year, evoked fresh calls by the opposition March 14 parties for the deployment of the Lebanese Army and U.N. troops along the two countries’ common boundaries.
President Michel Sleiman voiced regret over the death of Lebanese citizens by Syrian shelling in the northern Wadi Khaled region and the village of Heesha near the border with Syria, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati asked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to protest to Syrian authorities over these incidents.
“[Sleiman] stressed the need to remain committed to the neutral stance [of Lebanon] which calls for not interfering in the affairs of other countries, particularly Syria,” according to a statement released by the president’s office.
Sleiman also urged the Syrian side “to refrain from shooting or firing shells toward Lebanese territory,” the statement said. [1]


Heesha/Alhicha is located here on Wikimapia. Note on the northwest side of town a residence highlighted "deputy jamal jassem ismail." Wadi Khaled isn't labeled as an area, but is in the names of almost everything to the immediate east and south. Mcherfe / El-Mochayrfeh is about 2 km NNW, just over the border, here on Wikimapia. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:51, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Surrounding events: Ersal/Arsal, Lebanon, run by rebel-supporting Syrians and at odd with the Lebanese government, which had a dramatic incident on Feb. 5 said to play into these events, is hereon Wikimapia, 51 km due south of the area under study. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

The Attack and the Belligerents

Daily Star:

The shelling, described by residents of Wadi Khaled as unprecedented, targeted Heesha and villages in the northern region, where sporadic incidents linked to the nearly two-year conflict in Syria have occurred in the past.
AFP, quoting a Lebanese security source, said fierce fighting erupted Saturday night on the Syria-Lebanon border between Syrian troops and unknown gunmen, leaving a Lebanese man dead and four wounded. The Syrian army used artillery, mortars and automatic weapons fired from the Syrian village of Mcherfe as they clashed with the gunmen, the source said. He was unable to say whether the gunmen were Lebanese or Syrians opposed to the regime of President Bashar Assad. [1]

Troops in Syria, firing at unknown armed men, firing towards Lebanon, suggests the armed men were closer yet to the border, or over it. As we'll see below,some of the attack was shelling, some by shooting into a certain car inside Lebanon. And remember we have troops over in Syria, and gunmen that might have been inside Lebanon to choose from. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Read this and then that. My feeling is that this is finally the announced "retaliation" - which might have consisted in part or even entirely of propaganda on the pages of the Daily Star. ;o) --CE (talk) 04:07, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. I'll have to take a better look at this broader context. So far, the Lebanon stuff has not been my strong suit, and has gone over my head. I feel like I get it a bit better. If the previous reports of retaliation were, as they seem, fake, this one seems different. Specific people are named as being killed, and so I suspect they were assassinated. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:56, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Then it would be useful to find out what their political parties/affiliations were. I would imagine that assassinations of several MPs would be all over the news, though, certainly in Lebanon. Maybe they are, admittedly the only Lebanese source I follow is Al-Akhbar, but they have nothing. A new piece about Al Nusra and the events in Ersal has not even a hint of what Daily Star reports, and nothing elsewhere on the site. SyrPer boasts again yesterday about "hundreds" killed in the border region while attempting to infiltrate from Lebanon. --CE (talk) 09:19, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Started that. True, nothing much came up on Ahmad Shihab in Englsih, but I tried "أحمد شهاب" in a Google News search and numerous Arabic articles appear, all from the last day or so. The top one is from "alankabout" (?) "Cautious calm surrounds the area of Wadi Khaled and talk about threats Syria to evacuate homes". Will start pasting some stuff below. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:50, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

The Victims

Shelling will often kill four people and injure others. But it’s not usually this selective. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Residents of Wadi Khaled, who say the attacks from the Syrian side of the border are selective, said the weekend violence was unjustified as there had been no gunmen or reason to provoke such a response. [1]

Most of those killed were in the Lebanese parliament or had close family links to MPs, making this seem not just selective but a multi-assassination.

Ahmad Shihab, a member of Heesha Municipality Council, was killed in overnight shelling, residents of the area said, adding that his brother, Hani, also died from shrapnel wounds, villagers said. [1]

Municipal councils in the Bekaa valley are of some importance these days. A town 50 km south, Ersal/Arsal, has a Sunni pro-rebel municipal council that's been harboring kidnappers and terrorists and clashing with security forces who try to arrest them. The Ersal crossing area is reportedly tightened now, and rebels are looking for new supply routes, new municipal councils ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:21, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

The other political family was hit by bullets while driving. Cross-border? Random? --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Elsewhere in Wadi Khaled, residents said Hussein Ismail was also killed when a hail of bullets ripped through his vehicle while he was returning home with his brother Saturday. Heavy shelling on several border villages soon ensued, they added. Ismail, 40, was the nephew of former MP Jamal Ismail and served as his uncle’s personal driver, the state-run National News Agency reported. [1]

MP Ismail's home, apparently, is marked on Wikimapia on the west edge of Heesha. His politics are not totally clear. To start with, here he takes part in the unveiling of a statue of Hafez Al-Assad in 2003, here he urges the release of dissident students accused of terrorism in April, 2012, and here he urges review of the "injustice" in laws barring Palestinians from owning property in Lebanon in April, 2011. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Arabic Sources

The following will be digested and worked into the anlysis, after they've been collected and translated, first with Google Translate, then with fine-tuning. Some excerpts: --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

General Notes: I'm not including everything I've run across (might start now, that I'm about done). One town or area widely mentioned, translating oil and/or petrol is "البيترول" GT pronounces it "Al-Peetrol," and with a part translating "line" It doesn't pop up easily on Wikimapia. One theme that appears is a plea for military protection from incursions and firing from the "Syrian side." The exact party is strangely un-specified - it's just this bad place. Another theme relayes-the people there feel abandoned and lost in the shuffle, part of a murky border area some consider part of Syria. In fact, Wikimapia seems to give it as a subset of Talkalah, Syria. The people speaking to the media here seem to despise that idea, but despair that it's become the de facto situation.--Caustic Logic (talk) 09:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC), Feb. 25:

Still uneasy calm surrounds the area of ​​Wadi Khaled accept condolences Attribution Dhitea Hussein and Ahmed Shihab in the town of Al Heisha....
Attribution وغص the victims' house and Shahab بالمعزين of all Lebanese regions and villages and Akkar several towns. And accepted condolences at the home of Hussein Attribution his family and his cousin, former MP Jamal Ismail and Mohammed Suleiman ("Abu Abdallah") of tribal elders and Wadi Khaled and President of the Union of Arab tribal sons Sheikh Jassim military.
It mourners yesterday MPs Khaled Daher and Nidal Tohme and former MPs and J. Barini and Mohammed Yahya, mayors and mayors.
For his part, MP particular Mura'bi president and the prime minister and the army chief to take immediate action to stop the "infringements and continuous breakthroughs Syrian and استباحتها of national sovereignty and the lives of innocent people in border villages and towns."

And explained Mura'bi "that the people of the area of ​​Wadi Khaled told threats of" gangs stamens "on the Syrian side of the border that they should evacuate their homes and villages.

He added: "confronted with this reality, is no longer acceptable in any form to continue in the event of flute esteem for the protection of unarmed citizens and civilians in their homes. And renew our call President Suleiman as commander of the armed forces to demand from the army command duties to protect the people and reassure them to stay in their homes are safe., and I hope from the army command to issue a statement in this regard contribute to the return of tranquility and safety to the hearts of the people who live off of anxiety and fear for their lives and the lives of their children." [2]

Names here:

  • واحمد شهاب في - Ahmed Shehab, killed in Heisha
  • هاني شهاب في- Hani Shehab (brother) -not mentioned
  • حسين العزو - Hussein Attribution - Hussein Al-Azalou? - killed in Heisha, cousin of Jamal Ismail
  • النائب السابق جمال اسماعيل - former MP Jamal Ismail (cousin of Hussein Al-Azalou) [2]اخبار-لبنان-مقتل-مواطنين-واشتباكات-عنيفة-على-الحدود-مع-سوريا Can't copy text to translate, so it's useless to me. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:58, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

[ مشاورات القانون الانتخابي تأخذ مداها واستبعاد نتائج قريبة.. ومكاري يصف المتطاولين على سليمان بـ "الأقزام" وادي خالد.. خارج لبنان] Picture - the shelled home -horizontal shelling, wall blown completely in. Looks familiar.

Attacks forces the regime of Bashar al-Assad on border villages Lebanese safe in the Nordic region in general and the Wadi Khaled especially in an unprecedented way as led to the deaths of two people and serious material damage, returned to reveal the extent of the disaster afflicting the people of the region in these days in particular, where they find themselves between the fire of the attacks ofhand, and Ttunaih government "Hezbollah" headed by Najib Mikati...
"brutal stamens (الأسدية)" again mentioned as the aggressors (??). Hussein Ismail is named ( حسين إسماعيل) killed "Thursday evening two fatalities bullets in the head near his home in Peki'in."
activist Abdul Razak Ismail of Almguiblh "brutal stamens stood extent they do not provide safe and border areas this or that argument, and we feel that there is a decision and planned began in Arsal and completed in Wadi Khaled and we do not know where to reach."

As-Safir, Feb. 24: معركــة عنيفــة بيــن المســلحين والجيــش الســوري شــمالاً - وادي خالد: قتيلان وجريح.. وهواجس عند مقلبي الحدود picture again of the damaged house. Attacked towns: Al Heisha (الهيشة) Almguiblh (والمقيبلة )

  • حسين العزو (40 عاماً) - Hussein Attribution, aged 40 "a sniper bullet in the head. In detail, that Hussein was on his way back from his land, located in the town of petroleum line toward town of Al Heisha, killed on the road in the village of Nasiriyah shot from the Syrian side, which angered parents who have a night to deploy on the border... (?)" "Where the actual battle opened since time began the second after midnight, and lasted until the early hours of the morning..."
  • أحمد شهاب (عضو في مجلس بلدية الهيشة) - Ahmed Shihab (a member of the municipal council of Al Heisha) - killed
  • هاني شهاب. - Hani Shihab, brother, wounded
  • الشيخ خالد عزو (من فاعليات عشيرة الغنام وقريب الضحية حسين) -  Sheikh Khalid attribution (of figures Ghannam clan and close to the victim Hussein):
Calamity great family Shihab, everything was about Ahmed and his brother Hani is lose their mother and reassure their fellow young, but what if they arrived so afflicted shell at the entrance to the house, killing Ahmed before the eyes of his mother, and wounded Hani shrapnel, and was taken to hospital peace, where it was reported later that his condition was stable.
Family refuses to talk with anyone about what happened, also confirms brother Khaled «they will not make any statement in the present time, and that the family would announce its position in an official statement after several days.

Count the number of shells that fell in various parts of the town, is not easy, and more than 25 shell exploded in the streets of the town, and caused extensive damage in more than 15 houses, including home businessman Mohamed Suleiman, who attended the early morning to inspect the damage and workers who live next to his residence. After meetings with town elders Suleiman held a press conference when asked, Did farms become a terrorist? Will became a citizen a terrorist safe at home? Where charters of international legitimacy of these daily attacks on Wadi Khaled? Solomon appealed to the three presidents «take a clear position of repeated infringements and artillery shelling and call for the deployment of the army on the border, and if that is not possible, there is no objection from the deployment of international forces.

Al-Akhbar, Feb. 25 اشتباكات وادي خالد منصور لن يتحرّك في وجه سوريا "Clashes Wadi Khaled Mansour will not move in the face of Syria"

Was not the night of Wadi Khaled, the first of yesterday like other nights. Fezlmth Aldamsh flipped during the day with machine gun bullets and shells «RPG and mortar, as well as the shelling of the Taul a number of border areas. About it, split novels in the truth of what happened. For residents of Wadi Khaled, the story began when a sniper's bullet targeted young Hussain attributed Ismail in his head, and killed him. According to these, called the killing of Ismail angry reactions prompted a number of young people, in retaliation for the killing, to attack the Syrian army positions with light and medium weapons at one of the after midnight. The battle lasted until the fourth morning, and Syrian forces have used artillery.
Al «News» that the dead youth was trying to smuggle a group of young men to the inside when Syrian target. Note that activists on the support line of the Syrian opposition, and has already contributed to the smuggling of several armed groups. The security sources said Syria «thwart Syrian army infiltration attempt to militias from the Lebanese territory, pointing out that the elements inflicting casualties gunmen wanted to sneak into Syria through the border crossing Talkalakh. The sources pointed to the use of artillery, mortars and machine guns in clashes with insurgents coming from towns Almhervh and Peki'in.
Has prompted fierce clashes population areas Peki'in, Al Heisha and Arab Bani Sakhr in Wadi Khaled to displacement. As the Lebanese army set up fixed and mobile barriers in an attempt to arrest the infiltrators and insurgents involved in the clashes, but he did not succeed in this.


New Lebanese, Feb. 24: مقتل لبناني برصاص قنص من الجانب سوري Has a death picture of "Spent (deceased?) Hussein Ismail "aka attribution" (49 years old, a relative of former MP Jamal Ismail) after exposure to lead sniping comes the Syrian side in the land owned by the town line Alpetrol in Wadi Khaled." He was a plump man. His head is intact, just bleeding.

At 19.40 pm today, wounded Hussein Mohammed attributed in Peki'in - oil line inside Lebanese territory, was shot in the head. Immediately attended the strength of the army to the place, and was transferred by ambulance to the Lebanese Red Cross (ICRC) Our Lady of Peace Hospital - Kobayat for treatment, and soon died later of his wounds.
The army command said in a statement that it "has been strengthening military forces deployed in the region, and took over the military police investigation into the incident under the supervision of the competent court".


How Does Syria Stop This? Will Syria prevent this in the future by shooting more and hitting armed men more reliably, or by letting them go? --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Scenario #1: As Al-Akhbar mentioned, Mr. Hussein Ismael was helping smuggle Sunni fighters into Syria, and really annoyed them. So the Syrians picked him out with a really good sniper 2 km away (possible, right? at 7:40PM in February?) and took him out. And then somehow hit a city councilman they also suspected of helping. As Beirut said, they did this without crossing the border. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:47, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Scenario #2:Same as the above, but with a border incursion Beirut didn't catch or acknowledge. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:47, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Scenario #3: As Al-Akhbar mentioned, Mr. Hussein Ismael was helping smuggle Sunni fighters into Syria. The clashes mentioned coming after his death came before - o the Syrian side, and the fighters lost. They lost soroundly that they suspected the smugglers collaborated with the Syrian forces, delivering them right into their hands. So as soon as the survivors got back, they popped some caps in him and Mr. Shihab, whom they also suspected.--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:49, 19 March 2013 (UTC)