1800-1899 A.D. Assyrian History

† 1860: Massacres in Lebanon
by The Ashurbanipal Library Committee
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 03:52 pm CST


In Lebanon, from April to July, more than sixty villages of Al-Matn and Al-Shuf were burned to ashes by the Druze and Kurdish forces. The large towns then followed. The Ottoman garrison commander again offered the Maronite population asylum, as he had offered to the small villages, asking for the surrender of their arms and then slaughtering them in the local serai. Such was the fate of Dayr al-Qamar, which lost 2600 men; Jazzin and environs, where 1500 were slaughtered; Hasbayya, where 1000 of 6000 were cold bloodedly killed; Rashayya, where 800 perished.

The orders for Hasbayya were that no male between seven and seventy years of age should be spared. Malicious eyes feasted on mangled, intermingled bodies of old and young in the courtyard of the Shihabi palace. Zahla, largest among the towns with 12000 inhabitants, held out for a short time and then succumbed under an attack by a host including fighters from Harwan and Bedouins from the desert. The town lay snugly in a deep ravine carved by the Bardawni flowing from the Mount Sannin. Hardly a house escaped the flames. The total loss of life within the span of three months and a space of a few miles was estimated at 12000. From Lebanon the spark of hate flew to Damascus and ignited a reservoir of Muslim ill-feeling generated by the policy of Ibrahim Pasha and the egalitarian provisions of Khatti Humayun. The Assyrian quarter was sent on fire and some 11000 of its inhabitants were put to the sword.



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