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October 13 massacre
Part of Lebanese Civil War
Location Beirut, Lebanon
Date 13 October 1990
Target Lebanese Army elements of East Beirut (mainly Christians)
Attack type
Military operations and Execution
Deaths 500-700 killed during the fighting
Additionally at least 240 unarmed prisoners executed, including civilians[1]
Perpetrators Syrian Army, Hafez al-Assad

The October 13 Massacre took place on 13 October 1990, during the final period of the Lebanese Civil War, when hundreds of Lebanese soldiers were executed after they surrendered to Syrian forces.[2]


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After months of skirmishes, the Syrian Army and Lebanese militias then aligned with Damascus (mainly the Progressive Socialist Party and the Amal movement) backed up by Lebanese Forces artillery[citation needed] stormed the holdout of the military government of East Beirut, led by Gen. Michel Aoun, who had declared a "War of Liberation" against Syria earlier during the year, and had just escaped a mysterious assassination attempt the previous day. Aoun's forces were headquartered around the Presidential Palace in Ba'bda, Beirut. The Aounist areas were quickly overrun.

While the main confrontation was clearly a military one, the attackers afterwards in many instances turned to plundering, and tens of Aounist army soldiers and civilians were summarily executed by Syrian forces or the militias, as they cemented their hold on the capital.

The attack on the Aoun government marks the end of the Lebanese Civil War. Syria would dominate the political life of the country for the following 15 years, under the auspices of the Taif Agreement.

Death count

  • Lebanese Civil war 13 October 1990 at 7:00 a.m The Syrian Forces invaded the Eastern areas which support the Lebanese Army. An estimated 700 people were killed by the Syrian forces that day and 2000 had been injured. Estimates of the Lebanese Army losses during the battle, of whom a proportion were executed by the Syrians and including Prisoners of War as between 400 to 500 soldiers. It was also reported [3] that at least 200 supporters of General Aoun, most of them military personnel, were arrested by the Syrian forces in east Beirut and its suburbs, these men simply disappeared. At least 15 civilians were executed by Syrian soldiers in Bsous after having been rounded up from their homes.

One hospital "received 73 bodies of Lebanese army soldiers, each executed at close range with a bullet in the lower right side of the skull" and that 15 civilians were killed by the Syrians in the Bsus. He also connects the killing of National Liberal Party (NLP) leader Danny Chamoun to Syria.


  1. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORLD REPORT 1990 An Annual Review of Developments and the Bush Administration's Policy on Human Rights Worldwide January 1991, Human Rights Watch, page 507
  2. The Middle East enters the twenty-first century, By Robert Owen Freedman, Baltimore University 2002, page 214

External links


  • William Harris, Faces of Lebanon. Sects, Wars, and Global Extensions (Markus Wiener Publishers, Princeton, USA 1996)

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