Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 11, 2007

Nahr al-Bared and U.S. Air Base Story Confirmed

Back in May, I wrote about Nahr al-Bared and a new U.S. Air Base. The short version:

  • The Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared lies right next to the road that connects the harbour city of Tripoli some 8 miles south to the currently unused Rene Mouawad Air Base 7 miles north of it.
  • There are rumors that the U.S. is interested in using the air base for its own purposes. The major logistics for the base would come through the Tripoli port.
  • A Palestinian camp with some 45,000 frustrated and mostly young and poor people right on top of that 'line of communication' would be a substantial risk to such a base.

Now commentator Hannah H. O'Luthon points to a recent DEBKAfile report that confirms at least parts of my writing (do they read MoA?):

The US plans new military presence in Lebanon including big air installation close by Syrian border

The air base, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, will be located at Kleiat in northern Lebanon roughly 75 air miles from Damascus, ...
The first stage of construction will reactivate the small defunct air base at Kleiat as a joint US-Lebanese venture. Prime minister Fouad Siniora will explain that the four months of bloody fighting to crush the Fatah al-Islam revolt in the northern Nahar al-Bared camp demonstrated how badly the Lebanese army needs an operational air base in the region. US Air Force engineers and technicians have begun work on the new air field. At a later stage, it will be expanded for American military use.

DEBKAfile is a Israeli intelligence disinformation service. Some of its reports turn out to be credible, others do not.

If you check the Google map of Kleiat, Lebanon which Debka mentions you will find that it is the same place I linked to as Rene Mouawad Air Base.

It took the Lebanese army 15 weeks to smoke out a few rough fighters from Nahr al-Bared. Maybe the army is really that incompetent. But they quite deliberately destroyed the 'camp', a build-up city for 45,000 people, with their extensive use of heavy artillery.

The NYT today reports about Nahr al-Bared: Desolation Awaits Returning Palestinian Refugees. In addition to the destruction, the camp has been looted.

The first 500 Palestinian refugees returned here on Wednesday to find many of their shell-shattered homes unlivable, a month after the Lebanese Army ousted a jihadist splinter group from the camp.
“We saw houses burned from the inside, the appliances gone, and even a stolen refrigerator blocking a stairwell,” said Greg Ross, a Scottish volunteer from the nonprofit group Nabaa, who accompanied refugees.

Some refugees have seen their furniture and televisions on sale in local markets, he said. The military denies that it allowed soldiers or outsiders to loot the camp, but the accusations have heightened tensions between the military and the Palestinians.

The camp will be rebuild 'as a model' the Lebanese government says. A process that is expected to take 2-3 years.

But that is if you believe that it ever will be rebuild at all. Maybe a few thousand Palestinians will be allowed back into it. Maybe not.

To the U.S. and its Lebanese puppets the air-base and the safety of its logistic line are likely more important than those pesky refugees.

Posted by b on October 11, 2007 at 9:55 UTC | Permalink


Lets send FEMA over to rebuild the camp the way the rebuilt New Orleans...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 11 2007 10:22 utc | 1

wonder if Hizzbollah might have something to say about the US setting up an airbase there? or is too far outside their strongholds for them to get a veto?

Posted by: ran | Oct 11 2007 12:08 utc | 2

Damn. What a great opportunity to provide construction and support jobs for the refugees, but, I am sure Halliburton will employ virtual slaves in no-bid contracts.

The wonder is, why are there not more terrorists?

Posted by: IntelVet | Oct 11 2007 13:22 utc | 3

The reason there are not more terrorists than there are?

Most people are family folk. They have kin to look out for, and look after. They are not free to go totally underground, totally incognito, totally outside the system until such time as you have completely or substantially wiped out their family responsibilities.

You kill someone's family, and they have excellent motivation to come after you, the horse you rode in on, and everything you stand for.

What else have they to do, in the remains of the day?

Posted by: Antifa | Oct 11 2007 14:04 utc | 4

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