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Popular Nasserist Organization

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Popular Nasserist Organization

Popular Nasserist Organization
التنظيم الشعبي الناصري
Leader Osama Saad
Founder Maarouf Saad
Founded 1973
Headquarters Sidon, Lebanon
Ideology Nasserism,
Arab Nationalism
Religion Predominantly Sunni Islam with some Shi'a Islam and Christianity
National affiliation March 8 Alliance
Politics of Lebanon
Political parties
Elections

The Popular Nasserist Organization – PNO (Arabic: التنظيم الشعبي الناصري | Al-Tanzim al-Sha’aby al-Nassery) or Organisation Populaire Nassérienne (OPN) in French, is a Sidon-based Nasserist party originally formed in 1973 by Maarouf Saad, a Sunni Pan-Arab politician and member of Parliament (MP) later killed by the Lebanese Army during a February 1975 dock strike held in that port city.[1]

Structure and organization

The PNO’s military wing, the National Liberation Army – NLA (Arabic: Jayish al-Tahrir al-Watani) or Armée de Liberation Nationale (ALN) was first raised in March 1975 at Sidon by Mustafa Saad, son of the late Maarouf. Trained and armed by Fatah, the NLA was initially financed by Yasser Arafat’s organization and Libya, later replaced in the mid-1980s by the Sidon-born Saudi-Lebanese millionaire Rafic Hariri. A small but disciplinated fighting force, the NLA comprised some 500-1000 uniformed Male and Female fighters organized into conventional 'Commando', Infantry, Signals, and Military Police branches. It fielded a 'mechanized' corps provided with a single UR-416 armoured car seized from the Lebanese Forces in 1985,[2] plus 40 all-terrain vehicles (Land-Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser[3][4] and GMC light pickups) fitted with heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles and anti-aircraft autocannons.

The PNO in the Civil War: 1975-90

Closely allied with the al-Murabitun, the PNO/NLA joined the Lebanese National Movement (LNM) in April 1975, playing a somewhat significant role in the controversial siege of the Christian coastal town of Damour in January 1976, and later took part in the ‘Spring offensive’ held in March that year on the Mount Lebanon region. Forced to go underground in June 1982 when the Israeli Defence Forces occupied Sidon, the PNO/NLA re-formed in the wake of the Israeli pull-out from southern Lebanon in March–April 1985, and fought alongside the Palestinians at the battles for Kfar-Fallus and Jezzine against the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army (SLA). Simultaneously, they joined in a Syrian-backed coalition with the Druze Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and the Shiite Amal Movement, which defeated the Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) attempts to establish bridgeheads at Damour and Sidon.

The post-war years

The party is led today by Osama Saad who is an MP in the Parliament and aligns with the opposition in the March 8 Alliance.

See also

Notes

References

  • Denise Ammoun, Histoire du Liban contemporain : Tome 2 1943-1990, Fayard, Paris 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-61521-9 (in French)
  • Edgar O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92, Palgrave Macmillan, 1998. ISBN 0-333-72975-7
  • Jean Sarkis, Histoire de la guerre du Liban, Presses Universitaires de France - PUF, Paris 1993. ISBN 978-2-13-045801-2 (in French)
  • Marius Deeb, The Lebanese Civil War, Praeger, New York 1980.
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Civil Wars Volume 1: The Gun Trucks, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2008. ISBN 9953-0-1256-8
  • Mordechai Nisan, The Conscience of Lebanon: A Political Biography of Etienne Sakr (Abu-Arz), Frank Cass Publishers, London 2003. ISBN 978-0-7146-8378-2
  • Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.
  • Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9
  • Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003.
  • Steven J. Zaloga, Tank battles of the Mid-East Wars (2): The wars of 1973 to the present, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 2003. ISBN 962-361-613-9
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