Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ATVs stopped by Hezbollah in Jroud Zahle

I've just been told that Samir Geagea mentioned in today's press conference that some ATVs were stopped during a trip in Jroud Zahle. I've been meaning to post about this on this blog, but the personal life got in the way.

It is us that he was talking about. On Sunday 15 June 2008, I had a trip planned for my colleagues at work to go on ATV from Ouyoun el Simen to Zahleh through its deserted mountains, known as Jroud, have lunch in Zahle's Wadi Al Arayesh and come back. On our way, we were a convoy of about 10 ATVs, and in the middle of no where we were stopped by armed civil men, carrying AK47s. On the side there was a big white tent. On both sides, as far as 500 meters on each way, there was high deserted mountains. We were asked what we were doing there and where we were going. I gave the name of everyone with me, because I did not want them to stop every ATV and bother them. Luckily I gave them the right names, and all of them.
After they believed that we were only on an adventure trip and going to have lunch in Zahle, and been told never ever to pass by there again because it is a "military" region. They told us that we will not be bothered on our way back.

On our way back, we were stopped again, there was more armed men, and we can see them in far behind big rocks with their guns ready for any action. This time they wanted to search all males in the ATV convoy. The organizer of the trip insisted and persisted over and over again that we are a respected company and only here for adventure and he refused that any man amongst would be searched. After more than 20 minutes of negotiations, they told us that all males should show their IDs, and they compared it to the first list we had given them earlier that day. There was one missing name, but it was okay, because we told them that the guy stayed in Zahle. After they let us go, they were clear that this is a secure zone, a NO-ATV zone... and not to pass from there ever again.

We were just trying to have fun. That is the story.

6 comments:

  1. If this is not a wake up call for Hizb sympathizers then I do not know what will make these people wake up and realize that Hizballah's end game is either for the Lebanese to agree to live under an Iran-like regime or leave. With a big ambition for the Hizb is that for the Christians and Sunnis to simply give up and leave.

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  2. Hi Liliane, this is truly distressing.

    I would like to know however if these men had beards? what region of Lebanon do you think they came from given their accents? And what kind of equipment/weapons did you see? Did you see trucks or other vehicles? Antennas?

    You said their tents were white? It looks pretty obvious for a secret base, no?

    Thank you for your replies and I hope all Lebanon will be safe from any war.

    God bless you.
    Son of Lebanon

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  3. 1- I personally did not mention anywhere that it was a secret base. Possibly it was just a small check point, they said it was to "protect el re3yen" whatever that means!
    2- No trucks no vehicles, nothing!
    3- No Antennas
    4- I saw the AK47s they were all carrying, near us we had 3 gunmen, and the ones I saw in the far possible 500m, they had guns, but I did not know what kind exactly, they were bent down and behind the rock, but obviously holding a gun
    5- The accent was Lebanese, I think southern. But a friend of mine, a shiite, who was with us, confirmed they were from the HIZB
    6- The men had no beards

    Hope my answers help, I am only saying facts here of what I saw, not accusing anyone of anything...

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  4. Hi Liliane,
    Could you tell us exactly where this incident ocurred? I'm guessing that you drove along the tracks down Wadi Saqieh which ends up at Qaa er-Rim and bumped into them along that route. I know these guys are not on the high peaks of Sannine, but are likely on the lower slopes to the east where they fall into the Bekaa and Hezbollah-populated villages like Shmistar. Hezb does training in those hills and it's not that unusual for them to be there.

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  5. I really don't know the exact name of where we were, because the mountains basically look all the same, they're deserted, mostly can be reached only by ATVs and SUVs..

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