Lebanese army shells refugee camp



Why in the fuck don't we have ROE like this? We can support someone elses doing it, yet we don't do it: Terrorists run into area, area gets bombarded, regardless of civilians.:D

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Lebanese troops pounded a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire for a second day Monday, raising huge columns of smoke as they battled a militant group suspected of ties to al-Qaida in the worst violence since the end of the 1975-90 civil war.

Nearly 50 combatants were killed in the first day of fighting Sunday, but it was not known how many civilians have been killed inside the Nahr el-Bared camp on the outskirts of the northern port city of Tripoli.
Palestinian officials in the camp reported at least nine civilians were killed Monday, along with 40 wounded. The figures could not be confirmed because emergency workers or security officials have not been able to get in.

The White House said it supports Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's efforts to deal with fighting, and the State Department defended the Lebanese army, saying it was working in a "legitimate manner" against "provocations by violent extremists" operating in the camp.

Black smoke filled the sky over Nahr el-Bared as fires raged for hours and heavy gunfire and explosions rang out constantly. Shells could be seen thudding into buildings in the seaside camp.

Fighting paused briefly in the afternoon to allow the evacuation of 18 wounded civilians, according to Saleh Badran of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. But the fighting quickly resumed. Ambulances raced through the streets of nearby Tripoli, where many shops were closed and many residents stayed inside.

"There are many wounded. We're under siege. There is a shortage of bread, medicine and electricity. There are children under the rubble," Sana Abu Faraj, a refugee, told Al-Jazeera television by cell phone from the camp.

Lebanon was already in the midst of its worst political crisis between the Western-backed government and Hezbollah-led opposition since the end of the civil war.

The battle was an unprecedented showdown between the Lebanese army and militant groups that have arisen in Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps, which are home to tens of thousands of people living amid poverty and crime and which Lebanese troops are not allowed to enter.
While watching the news this AM, I got the impression this whole thing began because some Palestinian refuges robbed a bank and ran into the camp to hide thinking that the Lebanese troops couldn't/wouldn't follow them inside.
I was watching the coverage on French television news. They made a much stronger argument regarding the Al-Qaida connection of this Fatah al-Islam terrorist group, and specifically alleged that Syria was providing weapons to the group in the hopes of stirring up the pot in Lebanon to further monkey with the attempts to bring Syrian officials to justice for the murder of Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

I am somewhat surprised that the U.S. media has downplayed the Syrian role, though they do seem obsessed with downplaying the Syrian and Iranian roles in Iraq as well.