Lebanon has a long history of civil conflict involving its competing religious and ethnic factions. These factions include the Maronite Christian minority, who are often in conflict with the Muslim majority. The Muslims are themselves divided between the Sunni Muslim majority and the Shiite Muslim minority. The Druze peoples in the southern mountains form another distinct faction. Added to Lebanon's demographic divisions are the hundreds of thousands of (mostly) Muslim Palestinian refugees who live in permanent refugee settlements.

This is just a shortened Modern History Time Line
For a more in depth history may I suggest you go to Wiki

September 1920 After the League of Nations grants the mandate for Lebanon and Syria to France, the State of Greater Lebanon is proclaimed. It includes the former autonomous province of Mount Lebanon, plus the provinces of north Lebanon, south Lebanon and the Bekaa, historically part of Syria.

1925 - 1927 Druze Revolt Rebelliono of the Druze minority against French rule.

May 1926 Lebanese Representative Council approves a constitution and the Lebanese Republic is declared.

1940  Lebanon comes under the control of the Vichy French government.

1941 After Lebanon is occupied by Free French and British troops in June 1941, independence is declared on 26th November.

March 1943 The foundations of the state are set out in an unwritten National Covenant which uses the 1932 census to distribute seats in parliament on a ratio of six-to-five in favour of Christians. This is later extended to other public offices. The president is to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies a Shia Muslim.

November-December 1943 Free French forces detain members of the recently-appointed government, which had declared an end to the mandate, before releasing them on 22 November, henceforth known as independence day. France agrees to transfer power to the Lebanese government from 1 January 1944.

1948-1949 (Arab-Israeli War) Lebanon joined the other Arab nations by invading the newly-created State of Israel. The Lebanese invasion was turned back by the Israelis. Israel and Lebanon would maintain an official state of war for many years.

1957  President Camille Chamoun accepts the Eisenhower Doctrine, announced in January, which offers US economic and military aid to Middle Eastern countries to counteract Soviet influence in the region.

1958  Faced with increasing opposition which develops into a civil war, President Chamoune asks the US to send troops to preserve Lebanon's independence. The US, mindful of the recent overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy, sends marines.

1958 (Lebanese Civil War) Conflict between Lebanon's Christian and Muslim communities leads to a civil war which kills between 2,000 and 4,000 people. The United States lands several thousand Marines in Beirut in support of the government.

June 1967 Lebanon plays no active role in the Arab-Israeli war but is to be affected by its aftermath when Palestinians use Lebanon as a base for activities against Israel.

December 1968 In retaliation for an attack by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on an Israeli plane in Athens, Israel raids Beirut airport, destroying 13 civilian planes.

November 1969 Army Commander-in-Chief Emile Bustani and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat sign an agreement in Cairo which aims to control Palestinian guerrilla activities in Lebanon.

10th April 1973 Israeli commandos raid Beirut and kill three Palestinian leaders, close associates of Arafat. The Lebanese government resigns the next day.

13th April 1975 Phalangist gunmen ambush a bus in the Ayn-al-Rummanah district of Beirut, killing 27 of its mainly Palestinian passengers. The Phalangists claim that guerrillas had previously attacked a church in the same district. (These clashes are regarded as the start of the civil war).

June 1976 Syrian troops enter Lebanon to restore peace but also to curb the Palestinians.

October 1976 Following an Arab summit meetings in Riyad and Cairo, a ceasefire is arranged and a predominantly Syrian Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) is established to maintain it.

28th December Israeli Raid on Beirut.

1969 Palestinian-Lebanese Hostility begin.

1969-1970 Christian-Shia Violence increases.

1970 Lebanese and Palestinians Clash.

1971 Violence erupts between the Lebanese-Palestinian.

1973 Israeli raid on Beirut.

1973 Lebanese and Palestinians Clash.

1975-1976 Lebanese Civil War.

Arab-Israeli war with Israel controlling the south

16th March Kamal Jumblatt is Assassinated. Jumblatt was the leader of Lebanon's Druze minority. His murder is one of the sparks that set off the long Lebanese Civil War.

March 1978 In reprisal for a Palestinian attack into its territory, Israel launches a major invasion of Lebanon, occupying land as far north as the Litani river.

March 1978 UN Security Council (UNSC) passes Resolution 425, which calls on Israel to withdraw from all Lebanese territory and establishes the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to confirm the Israeli withdrawal, restore peace and help the Lebanese government re-establish its authority in the area.

13th June 1978 Israel hands over territory in southern Lebanon not to UNIFIL but to its proxy mainly Christian Lebanese militia under Major Saad Haddad.

13th June 1978 A leader of the Christian Maronite faction, Tony Frangieh was the son of former Lebanese President Suleiman Frangieh. This assassination was part of the ongoing battle between the Marada Brigade of the Frangieh clan, and the Phalangist militia of the Gemayal family.

1978 (Israeli Invasion of Lebanon) Operation Litani was the official name of Israel's.

1978 invasion of Lebanon up to the Litani river. The invasion was a military success, as the Israeli military expelled the PLO from Southern Lebanon, where they had created a de facto state within a state. An international outcry over the invasion forced a partial Israeli retreat and the creation of a United Nations patrolled buffer zone between the Arab guerrillas and the Israeli military.

1981 In response to PLO rocket attacks, Israeli forces began heavy bombing of PLO targets in Lebanon. The United States negotiated a cease-fire.

1982-1984 The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon In response to repeated guerrilla attacks by the PLO, which were launched from South Lebanon, Israel invaded with the intent of destroying Arafat's forces. Syria, which maintained a large army in Lebanon, fought Israel and suffered an embarrassing defeat.

September 1982 The first contingent of a mainly US, French and Italian peacekeeping force, requested by Lebanon, arrives in Beirut.

September 1982 Bachir's elder brother, Amine Gemayel, is elected president.

May 1983 Israel and Lebanon sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal, ending hostilities and establishing a security region in the southern Lebanon.

6th June Most Israeli troops withdraw but some remain to support the mainly Christian South Lebanon Army (SLA) led by Maj-Gen Antoine Lahoud which operates in a "security zone" in southern Lebanon.

June 1982 Following the attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov, Israeli ambassador to Britain, Israel launches a full-scale invasion of Lebanon, "Operation Peace for Galilee".

14th September 1982 President-elect, Bachir Gemayel is assassinated by a bomb that destroyed the headquarters of his Phalangist Party. Gemayal was the leader of the pro-Israel and pro-Western Phalangist Party and a foe of Syria and the Palestinians. The following day, Israeli forces occupy West Beirut, and from 16 to 18 September, the Phalangist militia kill Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut.

1983 October  241 US marines and 56 French paratroopers are killed in two bomb explosions in Beirut, responsibility for which is claimed by two militant Shia groups.

1984-2000 The Israeli Occupation of South Lebanon took place as they withdrew from most of Lebanon seized in the 1982 invasion, Israel held onto a large part of Southern Lebanon with the aid of the "South Lebanon Army (SLA)," a militia set up and supported by Israel. This occupation was opposed by the PLO and other Palestinian groups as an extension of their long-running conflict with Israel. Also, other militia armies (mostly Lebanese Muslim groups), such as Hezbollah (supported by Iran and Syria), stepped up attacks on the Israeli-occupied region as well as on settlements and military targets in northern Israel. In 2000, Israel withdrew from Lebanon and the SLA disbanded.

16th June 1985 A TWA plane lands in Beirut after having been hijacked on a flight from Athens to Rome by two alleged members of Hezbollah demanding the release of Shia prisoners in Israeli jails.

21st  May 1987  Lebanon abrogates the 1969 Cairo agreement with the PLO as well as officially cancelling the 17 May 1983 agreement with Israel.

1st June 1987  After Prime Minister Rashid Karami is killed when a bomb explodes in his helicopter, Karami was a Sunni Muslim and a veteran political leader, was an ally and supporter of Syria. Selim al-Hoss becomes acting prime minister.

September  1988  When no candidate is elected to succeed him, outgoing President Amine Gemayel appoints a six-member interim military government, composed of three Christians and three Muslims, though the latter refuse to serve. Lebanon now has two governments - one mainly Muslim in West Beirut, headed by El-Hoss, the other, Christian, in East Beirut, led by the Maronite Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Gen Michel Aoun.

March 1989 Aoun declares a "war of liberation " against the Syrian presence in Lebanon.

16th May 1989 Grand Mufti Hasan Khaled Assassination Khaled was the chief legal cleric of Lebanon's Sunni Muslims. His death by car bomb is attributed to his moderate politics.

March 1989  Aoun declares a "war of liberation " against the Syrian presence in Lebanon.

October 1989  The National Assembly, meeting in Taif, Saudi Arabia, endorses a Charter of National Reconciliation, which reduces the authority of the president by transferring executive power to the cabinet. The National Assembly now has an equal number of Christian and Muslim members instead of the previous six to five ratio.

November 1989 President Rene Moawad is assassinated shortly after his election and succeeded by Elias Hrawi. The following day, Selim el-Hoss becomes prime minister and Gen Emile Lahoud replaces Awn as Commander-in-Chief of the Army on 28 November.

22nd September 1989 (Nazem el Qadri Assassination) El Qadri, a Sunni Muslim parliamentarian, was an opponent of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. His shooting death was seen as a not-too-subtle Syrian warning to other Lebanese politicians not to oppose Syria. Peace negotiations were underway in Taif, Saudi Arabia, and one of the items on the table was a deadline for a Syrian military withdrawal.

22nd November 1989 (Lebanese President René Moawad Assassination)Moawad, a Maronite Christian who had been President for only 17 days, died as his car was destroyed by a bomb in Beirut. Moawad had been attempting to form a unity government in order to end the civil war.

21st October 1990 (Dany Chamoun Assassination) Chamoun was a Maronite Christian leader and the son of former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun. The younger Chamoun was an ally of General Michel Aoun, who opposed the pro-Syrian.

April 1996 "Operation Grapes of Wrath", in which the Israelis bomb Hezbollah bases in southern Lebanon, the southern district of Beirut and the Bekaa. An Israeli attack hits a UN base at Qana and results in the death of over 100 displaced Lebanese civilians sheltering there.

US negotiates a truce and an "understanding" under which Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas agree not to attack civilians in northern Israel, and which recognises Israel's right to self-defence but also Hezbollah's right to resist the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Lebanon and Syria do not sign the "understanding" but the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG), with members from the US, France, Israel, Lebanon and Syria, is set up to monitor the truce.

April 1998 Israel's inner cabinet votes to accept UN Security Council Resolution 425 of 1978 if Lebanon guarantees the security of Israel's northern border. Both Lebanon and Syria reject this condition.

October 1990 The Syrian air force attacks the Presidential Palace at Baabda and Aoun takes refuge in the French embassy. This date is regarded as the end of the civil war.

December 1990 Omar Karami heads a government of national reconciliation.

1991 The National Assembly orders the dissolution of all militias by 30 April but Hezbollah is allowed to remain active and the South Lebanon Army (SLA) refuses to disband.

May 1991 A Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination is signed in Damascus by Lebanon and Syria and a Higher Council, co-chaired by their two presidents, is established.

July 1991 The Lebanese army defeats the PLO in Sidon so that it now confronts the Israelis and the SLA north of the so-called "security zone".

August 1991  The National Assembly grants an amnesty for all crimes committed during the civil war, 1975-1990. Aoun receives a presidential pardon and is allowed to leave for France.

October 1991  Lebanon participates in the Middle East Peace Conference launched in Madrid.

February 1992  Sheikh Abbas al-Musawi, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, is killed when Israeli helicopter gunships attack his motorcade on a road south-east of Sidon.

17th June 1992 all Western hostages held by Shia groups have been released.

October 1992  After elections in August and September (the first since 1972), Nabi Berri, secretary-general of the Shia Amal organisation, becomes speaker of the National Assembly.

October 1992 Rafik Hariri, a rich businessman, born in Sidon but with Saudi Arabian nationality, becomes prime minister, heading a cabinet of technocrats.

July 1993  Israel attempts to end the threat from Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in southern Lebanon by launching "Operation Accountability", the heaviest attack since 1982.

25th July-31st July 1993 Israeli Forces launched Operation Accountability a week-long military campaign directed at Hezbollah (this conflict is called The Seven-Day War by the Lebanese).

11th April-27th April 1996 (Operation Grapes of Wrath) Israel's massive air and artillery attack on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon which attempted to end shelling of northern Israel by the Iranian and Syrian-backed Lebanese Islamic militia. Israel forces launched 1,100 air raids and fired nearly 25,132 shells at Hezbollah targets during the sixteen-day offensive. A United Nations camp at Qana, Lebanon, was hit by Israeli shelling, killing 118 Lebanese civilians who sought shelter there. Nearly 640 Hezbollah rockets hit northern Israel in this time period, particularly the often-hit settlement of Kiryat Shemona. Israel's ally and proxy force, the South Lebanon Army (a mixed Christian and Shiite Muslim militia under the command of renegade Lebanese Major Saad Haddad), also engaged in ground fighting with Hezbollah. At least 350 civilians were wounded in Lebanon , and 62 Israeli civilians were wounded in Israel.

November 1998 Army head Emile Lahoud is sworn in as president, succeeding President Hrawi.

December 1998  Selim el-Hoss becomes prime minister, heading a cabinet which includes no militia leaders and only two ministers from the previous administration.

June 1999 June Lebanon Army (SLA) completes its withdrawal from the Jazzin salient (north of the "security zone") occupied since 1985.

March 2000 Israeli cabinet votes for the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon by July 2000.

April 2000 Israel releases 13 Lebanese prisoners held without trial for more than 10 years but extends the detention of Hezbollah's Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dib al-Dirani.

May 2000 After the collapse of the SLA and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, Israel withdraws its troops from southern Lebanon, more than six weeks before its stated deadline of 7 July.

October 2000 Rafik Hariri takes office as prime minister for a second time.

January 2002  Elie Hobeika, a key figure in the massacres of Palestinian refugees in 1982, dies in a blast shortly after disclosing that he held videotapes and documents challenging Israel's account of the massacres.

August 2003 Car bomb in Beirut kills a member of Hezbollah. Hezbollah and a government minister blame Israel for the blast.

September 2004 UN Security Council resolution aimed at Syria demands that foreign troops leave Lebanon. Syria dismisses the move.

14th February 2005 (Prime Minister Rafik Hariri Assassination)Prime Minister Hariri was a foe of the Syrian Occupation of Lebanon, and his murder was widely believed (though never proven) to be the work of Syria. His death sparked the so-called Cedar Revolution. He was a former head of the Lebanese Communist Party and was particularly critical of Syria's intelligence service and its influence in Lebanese affairs.

2005 (The Cedar Revolution) The assassination of Prime Minister Hariri on February 14, 2005 triggered huge rallies opposing the 29-year Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The Cedar Revolution led to the withdrawal of Syrian forces in the spring of 2005.

September 2005 Four pro-Syrian generals are charged over the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

21st June 2006 (Pierre Gemayal Assassination) Pierre Gemayal, the son of former president Amin Gemayal and the nephew of Bashir Gemayal, was a cabinet minister.

2006 The Israel-Hezbollah war also known in Israel as "The Second Lebanon War (2006) In response to repeated guerrilla attacks by the Shiite Lebanese militia Hezbollah, Israel invaded southern Lebanon, set up a naval blockade, and launched a powerful bombing campaign in order to win the release of two captured Israeli soldiers.

July 2006 Israel launches air and sea attacks on targets in Lebanon after Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group seizes two Israeli soldiers. Civilian casualties are high and the damage to civilian infrastructure wide-ranging. Thousands of people are displaced. In August Israeli ground troops thrust into southern Lebanon.

August 2006 Truce between Israel and Hezbollah comes into effect on 14 August after 34 days of fighting and the deaths of around 1,000 Lebanese - mostly civilians - and 159 Israelis, mainly soldiers. A UN peacekeeping force, expected to consist of 15,000 foreign troops, begins to deploy along the southern border.

September 2006 Lebanese government forces deploy along the Israeli border for the first time in decades.

20th May 2007 - September 2, 2007 (North Lebanon Conflict) This conflict began when the Lebanese Army began a siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in order to drive out a militant Islamic militia called Fatah Islam. The resulting combat killed 158 Lebanese soldiers, 120 Fatah al-Islam militants and 42 civilians. The violence began on 20th May, 2007, when Lebanese authorities raided a Fatah al-Islam safe-house in Tripoli, sparking a gun battle. The fighting spread to the nearby Nahr al-Bared camp, where Fatah al-Islam was based. The Lebanese Army quickly cordoned off the camp and began a siege which ended in September, 2007, as the defeated remnants of Fatah al-Islam attempted to break out of the camp and were destroyed in firefights with the Lebanese military.

May 2007 UN Security Council votes to set up a tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of ex-premier Hariri.

13th June 2007 (Walid Eido Assassination)Eido was a member of Parliament and a Sunni Muslim. He belonged to the Future Movement, which was led by Saad Hariri and an opponent of Syrian influence in Lebanon.

16th June 2007 The United Nations Security Council resolution creating an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of Rafik Hariri took effect.

June 2007 Anti-Syrian MP Walid Eido is killed in a bomb attack in Beirut.

September  2007  Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanim is killed by a car bomb.

November 2007 President Emile Lahoud steps down after parliament fails to elect his successor. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora says his cabinet will assume powers of presidency.

20th December 2007 (Brigadier General François al-Hajj Assassination) General al-Hajj commanded the Lebanese Army in the North Lebanon Conflict's Battle of Nahr el-Bared, that pitted the government against the Fatah al-Islam militia. Al-Hajj was scheduled to succeed General Michel Suleiman (the president-elect) as the army chief of staff in 2008.

December 2007  Car bomb kills Gen Francois al-Hajj, who had been tipped to become army chief.

7th May-21st May 2008 Hezbollah Rebellion a Conflict between Hezbollah and the Le May 2008 At least 80 people are killed in clashes between Hezbollah and pro-government factions, sparking fears of civil war.

April 2009  Former Syrian intelligence officer Mohammed Zuhair al-Siddiq arrested in connection with killing of former PM Rafik Hariri.

2009 Four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals held since 2005 over Hariri murder freed after UN court in Hague rules that there is not enough evidence to convict them.

July 2009 The Lebanese army says it broke up a cell of 10 al-Qaeda-linked Islamists whom it accused of planning to attack troops and UN peacekeepers in the south.

2011 The UN's Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issues four arrest warrants over the murder of Rafik Hariri. The accused are members of Hezbollah, which says it won't allow their arrest.





Article and photos of interest about Lebanon

British Daily Express newspaper 6th August 1976 article
Soldiers of Fortune by Damain Lewis 2nd June 2007