The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Timeline: The roller coaster career of Michel Aoun


BEIRUT: Main presidenti­al candidate Gen. Michel Aoun has had a fiery military and political career. Following are the main highlights:


Born in the municipali­ty of Haret Hreik, a southern suburb of Beirut.


Graduates from College Des Frères Secondary School in Furn al-Shubbak.


Graduates from Military Academy with the rank of first lieutenant specializi­ng in artillery divisions.

September 1983:

Aoun’s predominan­tly Christian 8th Mechanized Infantry Battalion fought the pro-Syrian Shiite, Druze and Palestinia­n forces in Souq al-Gharb in Mount Lebanon.


Promoted to the rank of general, and appointed Army commander

Sept. 22, 1988:

Parliament failed to elect a successor. Outgoing President Amine Gemayel dismissed the government and appointed a sixmember interim military government headed by Aoun.

March 14, 1989:

Lunched “War of Liberation” against the Syrian army, shelled mainly Muslim West Beirut neighborho­ods in the process.

October 1989:

Members of parliament sign the Taif Accord which brings about a political settlement to Lebanese Civil War. Aoun refused to be part of the process citing Syrian tutelage, and dissolving parliament.

Jan. 31, 1990:

Aoun-led Army units and Lebanese Forces militia of Samir Geagea clash during “a war of eliminatio­n.” Fighting lasts several months and leaves at least 2,000 dead.

Oct. 13, 1990:

Syrians bombarded the Baabda Palace with airstrikes and artillery fire. Aoun fled to the French Embassy in Beirut, leaving behind his wife and three daughters.

August 1991:

Is exiled to France after spending months taking shelter at the French Embassy in Beirut.

Dec. 12, 2003:

Aoun lobbying efforts result in U.S. passing Syria Accountabi­lity and Lebanese Sovereignt­y Restoratio­n Act

May 7, 2005:

Returns to Lebanon a few weeks after Syrian withdrawal.

Feb. 5, 2006:

Signed a Memorandum of Understand­ing with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in the Mar Mikhael Church in Chiyah. Aoun joins March 8 coalition.

July 2006:

Supports Hezbollah in war with Israel.


FPM joins Cabinet for the first time, represente­d by three ministers.

May 2008:

Takes part in Doha Accords which result in election of Michel Sleiman as president.

May 2009:

FPM wins 27 seats in Parliament, participat­es in new Cabinet with five ministers.

Dec. 10, 2009:

Visits Syrian President Bashar Assad for the first time in an effort to amend ties.

January 2011:

Aoun topples Hariri Cabinet along with March 8 allies.


Aoun voices support for Syrian regime following uprising.

January 2014:

Aoun holds talks with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri but to no result.

May 2014:

Michel Sleiman’s term ends. Aoun announces candidacy

January 2016:

Aoun and Geagea convene in historic reconcilia­tion dubbed Maarab Agreement. Geagea nominates Aoun for presidency.

September 2016:

Hariri’s Chief of Staff Nader Hariri and FPM President Gebran Bassil reach an understand­ing to nominate Aoun.

Hariri formally endorses Aoun for the presidency.

Oct. 20, 2016:

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