Decisions and Environment

  • Adeed I. Dawisha


During the crisis period, seven major decisions were taken: three in the first phase (18 January–15 March 1976); three in the second phase (15 March–31 May 1976); and one in the third phase (1 June–30 September 1976). These decisions were:
  • Decision Four was a strategic decision taken on 18 January 1976, to deploy the Yarmouk Brigade of the Syrian-controlled Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) to Lebanon in response to appeals by Leftist leaders, and to a perception of an impending de facto partition of the country.

  • Decision Five was taken on 19 January 1976. It led to the despatch of Foreign Minister Khaddam, Chief of Staff Shihabi and Air Force and National Security Chief Jamil to Lebanon to try and impose an effective cease-fire.

  • Decision Six was taken on 15 March 1976, when the Syrian decision-makers ordered the PLA and units of the Syrian-based al-Saiqa guerrilla group to halt the advance of two columns of the Lebanese Arab Army which were moving towards the presidential palace of Suleiman Franjieh.

  • Decision Seven was taken on 28 March 1976 in response to the perceived intransigence of the Leftist position in Lebanon, and particularly of their leader, Kamal Jumblatt. The Syrian decision-makers resolved to place an embargo on all arms supplies to the Leftists.

  • Decision Eight was taken on 8 April 1976, in the form of a limited military move to concentrate more troops in the region of al-Masna’ with clear signals to the Leftists that they were prepared to use these forces to invade Lebanon if the Leftists’ intransigence persisted.

  • Decision Nine was a strategic decision and was taken on 31 May 1976. It was decided that, having tried almost all the other options, only one alternative remained that could ‘save Lebanon’. On 1 June Syrian troops poured into Lebanon in order to force a resolution of the conflict.

  • Decision Ten was a strategic decision taken on 22 September 1976, designed to end the political and military stalemate in Lebanon. It was decided to give the Palestinians five days to agree to withdraw peacefully from the Lebanese mountains. If compliance were not forthcoming at the end of this period, the military option would be used.


Crisis Period Arab World Arab State Arab Nation Regional Command 
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Copyright information

© Adeed I. Dawisha 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeed I. Dawisha
    • 1
  1. 1.The Royal Institute of International AffairsUK

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