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July 5, 1958

Untitled report to the Director of the Sûreté Générale concerning security in Lebanon

This document was made possible with support from Youmna and Tony Asseily



Beirut, 5/7/1958


To HE the Director of the Sûreté Générale


Two meetings were held yesterday, 4/7/1958, at the Fox Foundation which is an arm of the embassy of the Soviet Union; the first took place at 16.00 and the second at 20.30.


The following persons attended the two meetings:


Ivan, an employee at the Soviet Embassy; another person from the Soviet Embassy who is of medium height, and has a large body and black hair; a third man from the Soviet Embassy, who is tall, thin, and blond; Adnan al-Hakim; Sheikh Chafiq Yamout; Mohsen Salim; and Abdullah al-Yafi. While the two meetings were in progress, seven armed men stood guard in front of the Fox Foundation, chief among whom was Suhail Yamout. They were all communists, and I recognised among them Ahmad al-Husseini and Moheiddine al-Jammal, who were also watching the areas of al-Zareef and the Union Building. The first meeting lasted around one hour, after which the attendees disbanded, and the second lasted more than an hour and after disbanding, they all went, together with those who attended the first meeting, to al-Mseitbeh.


I learned from Abdel-Ghani Yamout, the merchant who was standing guard in front of Fox during the two meetings, and leader of his own area, that a decision was taken to send a strong-worded protest from the leaders of the opposition in Lebanon to the Security Council. The message will protest against claims that the UAR was interfering in Lebanon's internal affairs, and requesting that the Government's complaint, in this regard, be rejected.


Also attending the two meetings was Sheikh Chafiq Yamout, bare-headed and without his turban.


The source: Arnine Izzeddine:

He said: The attack requires more strength than we now have though we should be able to overcome the Army's power through our special plans. Although we will launch our attacks in areas where there are no army tanks, we will keep tanks occupied with a small force; however, before doing anything else, we intend to attack the presidential palace. He added that he will know the timing of the attack only when it is about to happen.


Members of the Army, traffic police, and the opposition are the ones who fire their government-issued guns day and night in the Aicha Bakkar and al-Zareef areas. They pretend that the PPS are shooting at the citizens from buildings in Karakon al-Druze (Algeria Street). It is worth noting that they are unable to advance a single step beyond the crossroads of Algeria and Medhat Pacha Streets in the direction of Karakon al-Druze, and are very afraid of an army attack.


The source: Mohammad Amine Doughan.


He said: We won the international political battle and we shall also win the internal one.


Consul Hanafi Mahmoud and Hamam said that the expulsion order is useless because it has come too late.


He also said that UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold believes in socialist principles and philosophy, and sympathises with small nations who seek to liberate themselves from colonisation.


Tangible activities were noticed yesterday in all the closed areas which indicates that they are getting ready for battle.


A few days ago, Sheikh Mohieddine al-'Ajouz has removed his turban, is carrying weapons, and leading a number of armed men in his area; (Aicha Bakkar).


The opposition is transporting Syrian, Egyptian and Palestinian Fedayeen from place to another; yesterday at 15.00 they took them to al-Najjadah headquarters; it would be possible for us to investigate and verify the matter.


Yesterday at 16.00, Mohammad Ali al-Ruz visited the homes of his mother-in-law and Mostapha Mansour, both of whom live in al-Mahmasani Building, and advised them not to leave their homes or their children, neither tomorrow nor the day after (6 or 7 July 1958).


The Embassy of the UAR has now assumed a spectator's position regarding current events, and it is the Soviet Embassy, which is doing all the actual work, and has provided the opposition with a radio station.


Chafiq Jadayel, the former presenter on Radio Lebanon, has received 5000 Lebanese pounds from the Soviet Embassy in return for his resignation from the Radio Station. He is now working for Sawt al-'Oruba Radio Station, and receiving the same salary as he did at Radio Lebanon.


Today, 5/7/1958, the communists are distributing pamphlets in various areas, calling upon the security forces to join with the masses. Stacks of pamphlets have been handed to communists in different areas to distribute today.


Jamil Hasbini made a tour yesterday of the closed areas, and after his return in the evening, he hosted a dinner party at his home for leaders of the armed groups. He told his guests, the leaders of the armed groups, that he was very satisfied with the morale of the Muslims and that the popular forces were very strong, had enough men and weapons, and were capable of achieving victory before President Nasser's return to Cairo.


Amine Izzeddine: is among those who attended the dinner party hosted by Jamil Hasbini at his home yesterday. He distributed 14 military binoculars to the leaders of armed groups in Aicha Bakkar, Zidaniyeh, Tallet al-Khayyat, and al-Zareef.


Throughout the night yesterday, rebel forces dug some ditches in the Druze cemetery.


International observers who toured various city quarters yesterday also visited Dr Mohammad Knei'o, who is very active in the entire area between al-Mseitbeh and Ras Beirut.

Account of two recent meetings at an arm of the Soviet Embassy in Beirut regarding the political status of Lebanon, and communists distribute pamphlets calling on security forces to join the masses.


Document Information


Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 13, File 208/13, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.


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Youmna and Tony Asseily