The Lebanese army has resumed extensive shelling of Fatah al-Islam militants in the refugee camp. Defense Minister Elias Murr said: “The army will win the battle and will negotiate on the basis of the surrender.” It is clear the army intends to gain a complete victory in this battle.
The Lebanese army is among the few institutions in Lebanon which can serve to represent the entire population of the nation. The fight in the refugee camp is tied into symbolism. The Lebanese army desperately needs a victory to help the nation gain a sense it will survive because the army is there to ensure stability. There is no way the army can allow militants to walk out of the camp claiming any sort of victory. If they emerge in that manner, it says the Lebanese army can not even control a single refugee camp so what hope is there for the nation to feel protected. The militants have placed themselves in an awkward situation because they did not realize how they were challenging the very existence of the Lebanese nation. The end of this story will be bloody.