Multinational Force in Lebanon +Search for Videos

military unit
Multinational Force (MNF)
Force multinationale de sécurité à Beyrouth
Forza Multinazionale in Libano


AH-1T SeaCobra in the outskirts of Beirut 1983.JPEG

Clockwise from top left: United States Navy+ LARC-V+ landing in Beirut+, September 1982; Lebanese Army in Beirut, 1982; Italian President+ Sandro Pertini+ in Lebanon+ during a visit to the Italian contingent+ in 1983; PLO office in Sidon+, 1982; Fighter jet taking off from French aircraft carrier ''Foch+'' off the coast of Lebanon, 1983; French Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopters in Beirut, Lebanon, 1983; USMC Bell AH-1T+ ''Sea Cobra'' helicopter on patrol outside the city of Beirut, May 1983; U.S. Marines on patrol in Beirut, April 1983; Israeli troops in Sidon, August 1982; Green Line, Beirut 1982

Aug. 25, 1982-Mar. 31, 1984
Peacekeeping mission+
Interposition force
Beirut, Lebanon
Col. James M. Mead, 32d MAU (Aug 82-Oct 82)

Col. Thomas M. Stokes, Jr., 24th MAU (Oct 82-Feb 83)

Col. James M. Mead, 22d MAU (Feb-May 83)

Col. Timothy J. Geraghty, 24th MAU (May-Nov 83)

BGen. Jim R. Joy, 22d MAU (Nov 83-Feb 84)
USMNF (Task Force 62)

(Aug 82-Feb 84)
| commander2 =Lt. Col. John deP. Ferguson, Queen's Dragoon Guards (Sep 83-Jan 84)
| commander2_label=British Forces'''

(Feb 83-Feb 84)
11th Airborne Division, B. Gen. Jacques Granger (Aug-Sep 82)

11th Airborne Division, B. Gen. Jacques Granger (Sep 82-Jan 83)

9th Marine Infantry Division, BGen. Michel Datin (Jan-May 83)

31st Brigade, B. Gen. Jean-Claude Coulon (May-Sep 83)

11th Airborne Division, B. Gen. Francois Cann (Sep 83-Jan 84)

9th Marine Infantry Division, B. Gen. Datin (Feb-Mar 84)
| commander3_label=French Forces

(Aug 82-Mar 84)
BGen. Franco Angioni (Aug 82-Jan 84)
| commander4_label=Italian Forces

(Aug 82-Jan 84)
March 1984
| identification_symbol=Photomontage

1982-83 Patch/Multinational Peacekeeping Force (II) Patchtransparent


The '''Multinational Force in Lebanon''' ('''MNF''') was an international peacekeeping+ force created in August 1982 following the 1981 U.S.-brokered ceasefire between the PLO+ and Israel+ to end their involvement in the conflict+ between Lebanon's pro-government and pro-Syrian factions. The ceasefire held until June 3, 1982 when the PLO attempted to assassinate Shlomo Argov, Israel's ambassador to London. Three days later, Israel reentered+ the PLO-controlled West Beirut+ and blockaded the city in order to contain insurgency. Seven weeks into the blockade, the besieged PLO+ acceded to a new agreement for their withdrawal. The agreement provided for the deployment of a Multinational Force to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces in evacuating the PLO, Syrian+ forces and other foreign combatants involved in Lebanon's civil war.

The four-nation MNF was created as an interposition force meant to oversee the peaceful withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization+. The participants included the U.S. Multinational Force (USMNF), which consisted of four different Marine Amphibious Units+ (MAUs); British 1st Dragoon Guards+ cavalry regiment; the 1st inter-arm Foreign+ and French+ Brigade+, 4 Foreign Legion Regiments+, 28 French Armed Forces+ regiments including French and Foreign paratroopers+, units of the National Gendarmerie+, Italian paratroopers from the Folgore Brigade+, infantry+ units from the Bersaglieri+ regiments and Marines of the San Marco Regiment+. Additionally, the MNF was in charge of training various units of the Lebanese Armed Forces+.

The MNF was dissolved on March 31, 1984 following the October 1983 Beirut barracks bombing+ and was replaced by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon+ ('''UNIFIL''') already present in Lebanon since 1978 under the leadership of Ghanaian+ Lieutenant General Emmanuel Erskine+.

The mission of the multinational force was to ensure the withdrawal of all foreign forces; aid, support and train the Lebanese Armed Forces+ to restore the sovereignty of the Lebanese Government+ at the request of the latter in Beirut+ and the promotion of national unity and reconciliation, along with strengthening all national institutions, including the army.

The United States+, France+, Italy+ and the United Kingdom+ contributed to the peacekeeping operations pursuant to the MNF mandate which reads as follows:

Under its mandate, the MNF provides a multinational presence requested by the Lebanese Government to assist it and the Lebanese Armed Forces in the Beirut area. The MNF is not authorized to engage in combat but may exercise the right of self-defense. The USMNF follows a policy of active self-defense in response to attacks and to improve its security. In order to enhance the safety of MNF personnel, authority has been given to U.S. naval forces offshore to provide naval gunfire and air support against any units in Syrian-controlled parts of Lebanon firing into greater Beirut as well as against any units directly attacking MNF or U.S. personnel and facilities.

The MNF is currently composed of the following units, which perform the functions indicated at the request of the Lebanese Government. Their precise functions within the MNF mission have varied over time and continue to be subject to adjustment in light of changing circumstances.

*One U.S. Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) is ashore at Beirut International Airport as a 1,400-man force which also provides external-security troops at U.S. diplomatic facilities in the greater Beirut area. Additional elements of the MAU in reserve, mainly combat support and combat service support elements, are aboard amphibious ships offshore Beirut. Pending the conclusion of consultations with the Government of Lebanon and Western allies, this force will be redeployed as soon as conditions warrant, with a tentative goal of completion within 30 days. As noted above, U.S. military personnel currently with the MNF will remain on the ground for the protection of our remaining personnel.
*Two Italian battalions are in a 1,400-man force in southwest Beirut and also help protect the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The Italian Government has nearly completed the four-month process of returning the size of its force to that level from a high of 2,200 men. The Italians announced on Feb. 8 their intention to withdraw further forces but to leave a portion of their MNF contingent to protect the camp areas.
*The French battalions serve as a force in and near the port of Beirut. The French have returned approximately 460 personnel from the MNF to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon, which leaves them at a level of 1,600 men, well above their original troop commitment.
*One British motorized reconnaissance company of 100 men withdrew from their position east of Beirut International Airport on Feb. 8 and embarked in a Royal Navy ship offshore until the situation clarifies.

In addition, each contingent of the MNF has naval and/or air support forces in the region.

Americans had previously been+ in Lebanon during the 1958 Lebanon crisis+. 14,000 U.S. Marines and paratroopers were sent to Lebanon by President Dwight D. Eisenhower+ to quell the opposition to President Camille Chamoun+ and neighboring countries. The operation was considered a success.

In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War+ began. Further instability was caused in 1982 by the invasion of Lebanon+ by Israel+, which targeted the Palestine Liberation Organization+ (PLO) based there.

As the capital city Beirut+ was besieged by the Israelis, U.S. special envoy Philip Habib+ negotiated with the warring parties for an end to the fighting and for the establishment of a peacekeeping force in Beirut. In August 1982, he was successful in bringing about an agreement for the evacuation of Syrian troops and PLO fighters from Beirut. The agreement also provided for the deployment of a three-nation Multinational Force (MNF) during the period of the evacuation.

The French Armed Forces+ landed in Beirut+ on August 21, with the U.S. Marines+ 2nd Battalion 8th Marines+ and the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit+ arriving on August 25 and the Italian Armed Forces+ Bersaglieri+ (2nd Bersaglieri "Governolo") on August 26. This initial force consisted of 850 U.S.+, 860 French+, and 575 Italian+ troops and was tasked with securing Beirut's port through which the PLO would be evacuated by ship.
The next morning, the first ship arrived in port to begin evacuating PLO and Syrian forces. By the end of the day, 1,066 PLO fighters had been allowed to pass through the Marine lines and reach the ship. Elsewhere in Beirut, the Italian and French were also facilitating the departure of the PLO and Syrians.

Over the course of the next 15 days, the evacuation went smoothly as the PLO streamed through the port facilities. The culminating event was the departure of PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat+, on Aug. 30. Escorted by French forces, Arafat's arrival at the port caused a huge crowd of well-wishers and media to congregate, Arafat was aboard the Tunis+-bound merchant ship Atlantis. Consequently, the Multinational Force troop contingent reboarded to their respective ships+ in the Mediterranean Sea+ on September 9, after 15 days ashore in Beirut.

On August 19, 1982; the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment+ succeeded following a request from the Lebanese Government+ to allow the departure of the Palestinian contingent from Beirut+. Following the events of Sabra and Chatila; international consciences decided to put in motion a reinforced security force. Subsequently, the regiments and units of the French Armed Forces+ and French paratroopers+ relayed each other at Beirut+ to fulfill a mission of mediation and preservation of peace. Operating within the contingent of the multinational force at Beirut+ which counted already U.S. troops+ based at the airport; Italian troops+ in southern Beirut, and British troops+ implanted near the tobacco manufacturing facility; the 31st Brigade (France)+ reinforced by the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment+ and a detachment of the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment+[] National Support Association for French and Foreign Soldiers in Operations assures security and confidence of trust in the greater Lebanon and Beirut.

On May 19, 1983; the first elements of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment+ disembarked within the cadre of the operation. On September 26, 1983; the last participating contingents forming Operation DIODON leave Lebanon+. France sufferd one casualty, Caporal-Chef+ Vuillermet who died of his wounds.

The 2,300-strong Italian+ Contingent (Italcon) landed in Beirut on September 24; it was made up of paratroopers from the Folgore Brigade+, infantry+ units from the Bersaglieri+ regiments, Marines of the San Marco Regiment+, and a military medical corp with a field hospital. The Italian area of responsibility was south of the city, near the refugee camps of Sabra, Shatila, and Burj al Barahinah. Italcon was commanded by Gen. Franco Angioni.

In the aftermath of President-elect Gemayel's+ assassination on September 14, the IDF+ entered West Beirut, citing a need to prevent civil disorder. While in Beirut Israeli troops allowed the Phalangist+-affiliated Lebanese Forces+ (LF) to enter Sabra and Shatila+ to root out PLO cells believed located there, hundreds of Palestinian refugees were killed+ in the process. This incident prompted U.S. President Ronald Reagan+ to organize a new Multinational Force (MNF) with France and Italy. On September 29, this new force entered Beirut, with about 1,200 troops. Their stated mission was to help the new Lebanese government and army with stability.

The second deployment consisted of the 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment and U.S. Army Soldiers. They were followed by the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines in October 1982. The Battalion Landing Team's headquarters was based at Beirut International Airport+. France's contingent of 1,500 paratroopers were based in the coastal part of West Beirut close to the seaport+, and the 1,400 Italian troops (paratroopers of the Folgore Brigade, Bersaglieri regiments and the San Marco Regiment were based in the southern part of the city, where refugees are concentrated. In February 1983, United Kingdom armored cars from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards joined the MNF.

During the winter of 1982-1983, the MNF was successful in its mission. Though officially neutral+, the force was responsible for preventing attacks from various Lebanese factions and the Israeli Army+. The MNF increasingly came under fire from factions of the Lebanese Civil War. Foot and vehicle patrols were conducted routinely throughout Beirut in an effort to gather information and provide a visible presence demonstrating multinational force commitment to the people of Lebanon.

On February 14, 1983, the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines relieved the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines in the U.S. sector. When harsh winter weather with low temperatures, high winds, and deep snows threatened Lebanese villages high in the mountains northeast of Beirut, the Marines were asked by the Lebanese Government on February 21 to provide a relief column to rescue Lebanese civilians stranded in Qatarba. The rescue mission was conducted February 22–24. Lt. Col. Don Anderson, the commander of Battalion Landing Team 2/6 led a column of nine thirty-ton amphibious tractors (AmTracs) and several wheeled vehicles across rugged mountain terrain, reaching Qatarba 16 hours after leaving the Beirut International Airport+. The AmTracs created a landing zone by packing down deep snows so that additional food and heating fuel could be delivered to the village by helicopters. Civilian casualties who could not be treated on-scene by the battalion medical team were airlifted out, while those needing less serious medical attention were evacuated to Beirut by AmTrac on February 24, 1983.

On April 18, 1983, the U.S. embassy+ in West Beirut was bombed+, killing 63 people. A suicide terrorist driving a van packed with 2,000 pounds of highly explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate+ (PETN) crashed into the embassy lobby detonating the payload. This blast was a clear sign of opposition to MNF presence. The embassy was located in the French sector, and French Marines immediately responded to provide security and begin rescue operations. The French commander, Brig. Gen. Michel Datin placed his responding forces under the operational control of Col. James Mead, the MAU Commander. Lt. Col. Don Anderson provided a reinforced rifle company (Company F) to take over security the embassy compound to enable rescue and recovery operations. Once recovery operations were concluded, a heavily reinforced rifle platoon from Company F was stationed at the embassy through the end of May 1983, when 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines was relieved by 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.

The Israeli Army agreed on May 17, 1983 to withdraw from Beirut. In the summer of 1983 U.S. troops at the airport were repeatedly shelled by members of Shiite Muslim+ and Druze militia+s. Several Marines were killed and others wounded. In response, the U.S. warships , , , , and shelled Shiite and Druze positions near Beirut.

The MNF received its largest loss on October 23 in an act of terrorism+, when Shia+ suicide bombers driving two truck bomb+s loaded with the equivalent of six tons+ of TNT+ plowed into the U.S. and French barracks in two simultaneous attacks, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 French paratroopers+. The force of the explosion ripped the barracks compound building from its foundation, the building then imploded upon itself in what was called the largest non-nuclear bomb in history. With this incident, the MNF suffered its greatest number of casualties and drew calls to withdraw from Lebanon. Nevertheless, President Reagan declared the MNF would carry on with its mission.

Vought A-7E Corsair II+ aircraft of attack squadrons [[VFA-15">LTV A-7 Corsair II">Vought A-7E Corsair II+ aircraft of attack squadrons [[VFA-15Vought A-7E Corsair II+ aircraft of attack squadrons [[VFA-15" style="color: #CCCCCC;">+ Valions and VFA-87+ Golden Warriors of Carrier Air Wing Six (CVW-6)+ line the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62)+ in December 1983

French Navy+ warplanes retaliated in November to the bombings by striking Iranian Revolutionary Guard+'s barracks in Baalbek+, in the Bekaa Valley+, though it did minor damage. At this time, tensions rose between Syria+ and the United States as Syrian anti-aircraft+ batteries fired on U.S. aircraft as they patrolled Lebanese airspace. This culminated in the first direct U.S. military involvement in Lebanon on December 4. After being fired upon by Syrian missiles, U.S. aircraft targeted Syrian missile batteries in the mountains east of Beirut. In the process, Syrian 9K31 Strela-1+ or man-portable Strela 2+ surface-to-air missiles shot down two American planes, an A-6 Intruder+ and an A-7 Corsair+. The pilot of the A-6, Lt. Mark Lange (flying from USS John F. Kennedy+), was killed; his Bombardier/Navigator, Lt. Bobby Goodman+, ejected and was captured by Syrian soldiers. Lt. Goodman was held for 30 days before his released was facilitated by Jesse Jackson+. Lt. Lange's body was returned. From the A-7, the pilot ejected and was rescued, although he suffered severe injuries.

On the same day, eight U.S. Servicemen were killed when Syrian-backed militias shelled the airport observation post.

In response to more fire, the battleship USS ''New Jersey''+ fired on Lebanon on December 14 and 15. Meanwhile, Yasser Arafat+ and his PLO left Tripoli+ on December 20 on five Greek+ ships bound for Tunisia+. The MNF was targeted again by bombs on December 21, with a truck bomb killing a French soldier and 14 Lebanese outside a French military base, and a bomb killing four at a Western-owned bar.

The captured U.S. crewman, Lt. Bobby Goodman, was released January 3, 1984, after negotiations with Reverend Jesse Jackson+. At the same time, U.S. President Ronald Reagan was pressured for a troop withdrawal from Lebanon by Congress+. These calls were increased after the Lebanese PM+ and his cabinet resigned February 5. Shiite and Druze militiamen began fighting outside Beirut on February 6 and threw the capital into chaos. Reagan ordered the 1,700 Marines to begin withdrawing on February 7. The following day, February 8, the USS ''New Jersey'' was again called upon to fire its main battery, this time against Syrian and Druze positions in the Beqaa Valley. During this Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) mission, the "Big J" fired 288 rounds of its 16" projectiles. Thirty rounds hit a Syrian command post, killing the general commanding Syrian forces in Lebanon, and several of his senior officers. The Italians pulled out on February 20; the Marines followed on February 26. However, a contingient of Marines from BLT 3/8, the ground combat element of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, remained in Beirut and provide the External Security Force at the U.S. Embassy until their withdrawal on July 31. The last French troops left on March 31.

The United States+ lost 265 servicemen in Lebanon, all but nine in hostile incidents, and all but 24 in the barracks bombing. 159 were wounded.

France+ lost more than 89 soldiers out of which 58 French Paratroopers+ in the barracks bombing and many other soldiers from French+ regular+ and Foreign Legion+ regiments, mainly conducting combat operations, demining and training the Lebanese Armed Forces+ along with the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment+.

The Italians lost two soldiers, both to hostile actions.

*1958 Lebanon crisis+
*Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)+
*United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)+

* Frédéric Pons+, ''Les Paras sacrifiés, Beyrouth, 1983-1984'' (The Sacrificed Paras, Beyrouth, 1983-1984), Presses de la Cité+, Paris 1994.

* video version+

Multinational Force in Lebanon+ The Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF) was an international peacekeeping force created in August 1982 following the 1981 U.S.-brokered ceasefire between the PLO and Israel to end their involvement in the conflict between Lebanon's pro-government and pro-Syrian factions.