Lebanese Youth Movement (MKG)
|Lebanese Youth Movement (MKG)|
|Participant in Lebanese civil war (1975-1990)|
|Groups||Lebanese Front, Lebanese Forces|
|Leaders||Bashir Maroun el-Khoury (aka “Bash Maroun”)|
|Headquarters||Dekwaneh, east Beirut|
|Allies||Kataeb Regulatory Forces (KRF), Guardians of the Cedars (GoC), Army of Free Lebanon (AFL), Al-Tanzim, Tigers Militia, Tyous Team of Commandos (TTC), Israel Defense Forces (IDF)|
|Opponents||Lebanese National Movement (LNM), Lebanese Arab Army (LAA), Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Syrian Army|
The Lebanese Youth Movement – LYM (Arabic: حركة الشباب اللبنانية | Harakat al-Shabab al-Lubnaniyya), also known as the Maroun Khoury Group (MKG), was a Christian far-right militia which fought in the 1975-77 phase of the Lebanese Civil War.
The LYM was founded in the early 1970s as an association of Maronite right-wing university students, who strongly opposed the 1969 Cairo Agreement and the presence of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) guerrilla factions in Lebanon, by Bashir Maroun el-Khoury (nom de guerre "Bash Maroun"), the son of the former head of the Dekwaneh district of East Beirut, Naim el-Khoury.
The LYM in the 1975-77 civil war
The LYM/MKG joined the Lebanese Front in January 1976 and raised its own militia with training, funds and weapons being provided by the Kataeb Party and Israel. It consisted of about 500-1,000 fighters, backed by a small armoured force made of ex-Lebanese army Panhard AML-90 armoured cars and guntrucks or 'technicals'. The latter were commandeered Land-Rover series II-III, Toyota Land Cruiser (J40), Dodge Power Wagon W200, GMC Sierra Custom K25/K30 and Chevrolet C-10 Cheyenne light pickups fitted with heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles and anti-aircraft autocannons. Personally commanded by Bash Maroun, they usually operated in the Ras-el-Dekwaneh, Ain el-Rammaneh and Mansouriye districts, manning the local sections of the Green Line, but also fought in other areas (Namely at the Battle of the Hotels), earning a reputation of fierce combatants.
However, they were also renowned for their brutality – In January-August 1976, a force of 100 LYM militiamen took part in the sieges and subsequent massacres of the Palestinian refugee camps situated at the town of Dbayeh in the Metn, and at Karantina, al-Maslakh and Tel al-Zaatar in East Beirut. The cruelty displayed by MKG members’ in these and other atrocities, earned them the unflattering nickname "The Ghosts of the Cemeteries" – Bash Maroun's men were normally seen wearing necklaces made from human body parts cut from their victims.
The MKG was subsequently absorbed into the Lebanese Forces structure in 1977, thereafter ceasing to exist as an independent organization.
- Guardians of the Cedars
- Lebanese Forces
- Lebanese Front
- Lebanese Civil War
- Tel al-Zaatar Massacre
- Karantina Massacre
- Kataeb Regulatory Forces
- Weapons of the Lebanese Civil War
- Denise Ammoun, Histoire du Liban contemporain: Tome 2 1943-1990, Fayard, Paris 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-61521-9 (in French)
- Jean Sarkis, Histoire de la guerre du Liban, Presses Universitaires de France - PUF, Paris 1993. ISBN 978-2-13-045801-2 (in French)
- Moustafa El-Assad, Civil Wars Volume 1: The Gun Trucks, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2008. ISBN 9953-0-1256-8
- Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.
- Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press, (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9
- Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003. ISBN 9953-0-0705-5
- Samer Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon 1975-1981, Trebia Publishing, Chyah 2012. ISBN 978-9953-0-2372-4