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Geagea–Hobeika Conflict
Part of the Lebanese Civil War
DateJanuary 1986
LocationBeirut and Metn
  • Tripartite Accord rejected
  • Geagea becomes leader of the Lebanese Forces
  • Hobeika flees to Zahle and forms the Lebanese Forces - Executive Command

Lebanese Forces Pro-Geagea faction

Kataeb Party Militia

Forces Libanaises Flag.svg Lebanese Forces Pro-Hobeika faction

  • Special Force
Commanders and leaders
Samir Geagea
Amine Gemayel
Elie Hobeika

The Geagea–Hobeika Conflict took place in January 1986 when relations between the two dominant figures of the Lebanese Forces (LF) broke down. Elie Hobeika was president of the Lebanese Forces, and Samir Geagea was chief of staff. The conflict resulted in 800 to 1000 casualties.

The tussle between Samir Geagea and Elie Hobeika for control over the Lebanese Forces (LF) had started as early as March 1985. In March, 1985 Samir Geagea gained control over the LF after defeating the pro-Syrian leader of the Phalangist militia, Fouad Abou Nader. In May of that same year, however, Elie Hobeika was appointed to lead that unit. In December Hobeika signed an accord with the Syrian government, the Druze militia (PSP), and Amal (pro-Syrian Shi'a militia). One of the cornerstones of the agreement was the disbandment of Lebanese militia forces. It also provided for initiating political changes that would end Christian dominance of the Lebanese parliament and army.[1]

There was a dispute over whether to retain links with Israel and how to react to Syrian-sponsored negotiations to end fighting. Hobeika broke LF links with Israel and supported the negotiations between the LF, the Lebanese government, Syria, and Muslim leaders such as Jumblatt. Geagea opposed the negotiations which he claimed would make unacceptable concessions to Syria and weaken the Lebanese Christian community's political power.

In October 1985, with negotiations in progress, skirmishes took place between Geagea's supporters and Hobeika's supporters. In December 1985, a peace agreement, the Tripartite Accord, was reached. It was signed by Hobeika for the LF, but the LF Command Council was split, with only half agreeing with the deal. In addition, the agreement was criticized by Camille Chamoun and some leaders of the Maronite Church.

Samir Geagea decided to not accept the agreement and his supporters attacked supporters of Elie Hobeika on 8 January 1986. On 13 January, in a bid to greatly extend Hobeika's power, Hobeika's faction expanded the conflict by attacking positions of the Kataeb Party militia. The Kataeb party leader, Amine Gemayel, was at the time serving as president of the Lebanon.

The Kataeb support of the pro-Geagea faction was decisive. The conflict resulted in Geagea taking over the Lebanese Forces. Hobeika fled in a helicopter and made his way to Zahle where he formed his remaining supporters into the Lebanese Forces - Executive Command, under Syrian control.

Samir Geagea (left)

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