- Advertising Agencies
- Architects

- Banks

- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft

- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &

- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery

- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments

- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant

- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
- Internet

- Jewelleries

- Lighting
- Luxury

- Media
- Music

- Office Equipment /
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration

- Printing
- Promotional Materials

- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants

- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets

- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies

- Watches
- Water Treatment



Back to archives Back to news
French Version

Attack helicopters enter fray at Nahr al-Bared

The Lebanese Air Force took part in its first combat mission at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp on Satruday as an attack helicopter fired on Fatah al-Islam positions.

Some witnesses said the French-made Gazelle, painted with a Lebanese flag and hand-drawn serial numbers, fired at least two missiles into the camp, while others said the gunship only strafed positions in the camp.

This campaign is not the first time the Lebanese military has used aerial weapons against ground targets.

In 1973 the air force used unguided rockets fired from British-made Hawker Hunter fighter planes against Palestinian positions in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps and around the Sports City to quell an uprising, retired General Elias Hanna said.

Hanna told The Daily Star that attack helicopters like the Gazelle, which can also be used against tanks and armored vehicles, have the flexibility and maneuverability to make them ideally suited for fighting unconventional forces in an urban setting, such as the clashes with Fatah al-Islam militants in the densely populated camp.

"While a jet fighter passes over the target quickly and takes a longer time to turn around, a helicopter can hover longer over the area and get a better view of the target," Hanna explained.

While the air force has some 40-odd helicopters, used mostly for transport and reconnaissance duties, it does not have modern jet fighters in working order, just four aging Mirage Is and Mirage IIs stored at an air base and in need of major rehabilitation and overhaul, the retired general said.

Asked why Lebanon had not acquired modern jet fighters or ground-based air-defense systems, Hanna said: "Just because you have the will to buy such weapons does not mean you have the capability, and if you had the capability you need to find someone willing to sell you such weapons, especially considering we are in the same neighborhood as Israel."

Before weapons systems are acquired, he added, a defense strategy needs to be developed to define a specific need and role for them. "What will we use [jet fighters] for," he asked, "to fight Israel when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan all fought Israel and were unsuccessful?"

In any case, hanna said, Lebanon's economy cannot support or sustain an air force as large as Israel's, which ebenfits from massive US aid.

Lebanon has acquired nine Gazelles and spare parts from the United Arab Emirates. The Gazelle is in service with the French Army's aviation arm and is used primarily in an anti-tank role. A light support version is also equipped with a 20-millimeter cannon, while variants for air battles carry the Mistral air-to-air missile.

The latest anti-tank and reconnaissance version of the Gazelle carries the Viviane thermal imagery system. In France, the Gazelle is being replaced by the Eurocopter Tiger for front-line use but it will continue to be used for light transport and liaison duties. The Gazelle can also be used as an air observation post for directing artillery fire and as a forward air controller directing ground-attack aircraft or for casualty evacuation, command and control and as a communications relay.

Beirut 04-06-2007
The Daily Star

Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News