Lebanese Armed Forces
May 20: Start of the fighting in Tripoli and Nahr al-Bared
Fighting began early on Sunday after a police raid on a house in Tripoli which was apparently being used by militants from Fatah al-Islam. The militant group subsequently began shooting at the Lebanese security forces who returned fire, triggering clashes in the vicinity of the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. The men reportedly resisted arrest and the violence spread to neighbouring streets. The police and the army had conducted the raid after allegations that Fatah al-Islam members tried to rob a bank on Sunday and "take control of several security strongholds in the North" according to Ahmad Fatfat, Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sports in Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's cabinet.1 Militants then attacked a Lebanese military post at the gate of the camp, seizing several vehicles. The Lebanese military sent reinforcements, including tanks, which returned fire at Fatah al-Islam positions. At least 27 Lebanese soldiers were killed in the fighting, along with an undetermined number of civilians and militants.
May 21: Nahr al-Bared under siege
Fighting renewed after a short-lived truce earlier in the day was declared in order to transport the dead and injured out of the camp in ambulances. According to the Lebanese news channel NewTV, allegations arose that Fatah al-Islam militiamen shot at ambulances entering and exiting the camp. The Lebanese Army began shelling Nahr al-Bared at what it believed were Fatah al-Islam positions; many civilians were killed.23
May 22: The fighting continues at Nahr al-Bared, ceasefire
Despite talks of a cease-fire, Fatah al-Islam militants continued battling the Lebanese army at the outskirts of the refugee camp for a third day. Fighting resumed when Lebanese tanks and artillery began shelling the members of the radical Fatah al-Islam group taking refuge in the camp. By mid-morning the battle intensified with heavy exchanges of small arms and machine-gun fire.4 Conditions inside the overcrowded Nahr al-Bared camp became increasingly unbearable as the army continued pounding militant positions there. Doctors in the camp have pleaded for a ceasefire because of the dead and wounded lying on the streets. Electricity has been cut and there is a limited supply of water. Brig. Gen. Bilal Aslam said that "the Lebanese Army prevented supplies and aid from entering the camp." He also claimed militant fighters were stationed on the outskirts of the camp, but not in it.5
The militant group said it would end confrontations with the Lebanese army starting 14.30 local time.6 A fragile truce let 10 people flee Nahr al-Bared.7 In Tripoli, one Fatah al-Islam militant blew himself up, after being surrounded by Lebanese soldiers in the same house that security forces had raided on May 21, 2007.8
May 23: Thousands flee Nahr al-Bared
During a nighttime truce announced Tuesday, about 2,000 inhabitants of the Nahr al-Bared camp had been able to flee. Some refugees left on foot while others were in cars and vans. The Red Crescent helped the refugees relocate to the nearby Beddawi camp, where they spent the night at schools. Other refugees left for the nearby city of Tripoli. Reports suggest that snipers fired at the fleeing crowd of refugees as they left their homes.5 The truce seemed to have ended when a UN aid convoy was attacked later that night.910 "The humanitarian situation is very, very bad," said a spokeswoman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, "and deteriorating every minute. Inside the camp, there are no hospitals and only one health center," which was unable to stay open during the fighting.
May 24: Sporadic fighting resumes at the camp
The Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, vowed to "uproot" terrorism from his country in his address to the nation, blaming the Fatah al-Islam militants for using the Palestinian refugees as hostages in their goal of destabilizing Lebanon. The Prime Minister said that the government would not "surrender to terrorism" and would work to eradicate it. Siniora also stressed that the target of military operations are the militants and not the Palestinian refugees in the camp.11 Following the speech, renewed fighting erupted between the militants and the Lebanese army at the entrance of the Nahr al-Bared camp. The Lebanese military shot and sank twoinflatable boatscarrying militants from the camp. But, the BBC reported that Thursday's gunfire exchanges were sporadic and that there was no sign of the heavy shelling seen before. But government threats of harsh action against the militants has raised fears that the Lebanese army could begin an all-out assault on the camp at any time, raising further concerns for the humanitarian situation of those civilians still inside. 12
May 25-26: Military aid shipments to Lebanon
Five military transport planes carrying military aid for the Lebanese army from the United States and its Arab allies arrived at Beirut airport. One plane was from the U.S. Air Force, two from the United Arab Emirates Air Force and two from the Royal Jordanian Air Force. 13 The planes, which came mainly from US bases in the region, arrived following an appeal for such aid by the Lebanese government. On Saturday May 26, two additional U.S. transport planes also carrying military aid landed in Beirut. 14 The military supplies are believed to include ammunition for automatic rifles and heavy weapons, spare parts for military helicopters and night-vision equipment. American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed Washington's support for the Siniora government and added that Fatah al-Islam was trying to destabilise the democratically elected Lebanese government. But, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said he doubted the sudden rise in US sincerity in Lebanese internal affairs. 15 Sporadic exchanges of gunfire were also reported between Lebanese troops and Fatah al-Islam fighters as the army continued to build up its presence around the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. According to the BBC, the militants still holed up inside the camp were determined not to surrender. Aid workers struggled to deliver food and medicine to the thousands of Palestinian refugees who had not left the area.
May 26 was a largely peaceful day.
May 27-28: Fighting erupts, negotiations continue
Lebanese army posts were shelled and gunfire was heard late on May 27, despite a cease-fire deal at Nahr al-Bared. The head of Fatah al-Islam, the militant Palestinian group, said his men would not surrender. The latest spat of violence came as negotiations were reportedly taking place with the Islamists. The conflict had entered its first week and left dozens dead, including many civilians. A UN staffer declared that about 25,000 had fled the camp by now but thousands still remain. The Lebanese army was helped by new reinforcements being sent up. Lebanese government officials have told AFP that they had given Palestinian factions until the middle of the week to negotiate a peaceful solution to end the fighting. According to the BBC, Fatah al-Islam leaders now seem to have endorsed the same rhetoric as al-Qaeda. The group previously stated that it was defending Muslims and Palestinians in Lebanon but rival factions have distanced themselves from the group. 16
May 29-31: Fighting and charges
Sporadic fighting erupted on May 29 between the Lebanese army and militants, with no sign of progress in efforts to mediate an end to the 10-day standoff. One Lebanese soldier was killed in the clashes. 17 On May 30, Lebanon charged 20 members of Fatah al-Islam with terrorism. Judiciary sources said Wednesday's charges against the 19 Lebanese and one Syrian, all in custody, carried the death penalty. 18 May 31 was largely peaceful.
June 1: Heavy fighting
Heavy fighting has resumed on the morning of June 1 between the Lebanese army and Islamic militants entrenched in Nahr el-Bared. Artillery shelling and machine-gun fire have been heard as tanks massed outside the Nahr al-Bared camp in what may be the start of a final ground offensive. The fighting was reported to be concentrated by the southern and northern entrances of the camp. 19 At least 19 people were killed, including three army soldiers. 20
June 2: The offensive continues
On Saturday morning the Lebanese Army resumed the attack on the terrorists in the camp, using artillery shelling and an attack helicopter for the first time since the beginning of the fights.21 Fatah al-Islam confirms that one of its senior leaders, Abu Riyadh, had been killed by a Lebanese army sniper.22
June 3-4: Ain al-Hilweh violence
Fighting broke out between soldiers and Islamist militants at a second Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The violence in the Ain al-Hilweh camp, near the southern city of Sidon, was said to involve Jund al-Sham militants. Two people - a soldier and a civilian - were injured when suspected militants fired a grenade at an army checkpoint. Army troops responded to the rocket propelled grenade attack with gunfire. 23 In subsequent fighting, two soldiers and two militants were killed 24
June 5: Lebanese troops continue to pound refugee camp
While the Lebanese army intensified its offensive on the refugee camp in Nahr al-Bared, seven Fatah al-Islam members surrendered to mainstream Fatah Palestinian faction. Fatah is the first Palestinian faction present in the numerous refugee camps in Lebanon to take action against the allegedly al-Qaeda linked group since the fighting began.25 Khaled Aref, a representative of the mainstream Fatah group in the Ein al-Hilweh camp, said Palestinian factions there had decided to "isolate Jund al-Sham and not give way to any attempt to import any of what's happening in Nahr al-Bared." 26
June 6-7: Calm days
Only sporadic gunfire and some mortar rounds and artillery shells were heard these days. A Lebanese soldier was killed by Islamic sniper fire in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp. 27
June 8: Heavy fighting erupts once again
After mediators failed to convince the Islamists to surrender, the Lebanese army attacked Nahr el-Bared once again. Witnesses inside the camp said over the weeks, the army has conquered more and more positions from Fatah al-Islam inside the camp. Fatah al-Islam has threatened to spread fighting to other parts of the country.28
June 9-10: Heavy casualties for the army
As Lebanese troops attacks the Islamists inside, they meet stiff resistance from Islamic militiamen from their positions. 9 soldiers died on Saturday alone. Casualties on the Fatah al Islam side remain unknown. The army said they were on the winning hand, but the Islamists said they are holding their ground. A spokesman for FaI said they had seized Lebanese Army weapons in an attack12 3 A huge rally with tens of thousands of demonstrators was walked in Tripoli to thank and support the Lebanese Army.
June 11: Red Cross incident
Two Lebanese Red Cross workers have been killed outside Nahr al-Bared. The pair were evacuating civilians when they were hit by either machine gun or shell fire. A Palestinian cleric, who had been trying to broker a truce, was wounded in the leg in a separate incident. 29
June 12: The Lebanese Army advances
Troops continued the advance coming up to 80 meters from the main Fatah al-Islam stronghold in the center of the camp. Heavy shelling continued especially at the northern entrance of the Nahr al-Bared camp, while fires raged and smoke billowed from the camp's cinderblock buildings. The militants retaliated by firing rockets at army posts on a nearby hill. The army managed to take control of a key position of Fatah al-Islam on the camp's coastal side.30
June 13-14: Relative calm
Two days of relative calm followed heavy fighting.
June 15: Explosion in the camp
Six Lebanese soldiers have been killed by an explosion in a building booby trapped by Fatah al-Islam fighters at the refugee camp. Security sources said four more soldiers were wounded by the blast, which destroyed the building at the Nahr al-Bared camp. 31
June 18: Shelling resumed
The Lebanese army resumed shelling a besieged Palestinian refugee camp, a day after it said important militant positions were destroyed. Troops targeted suspected hideouts of the Fatah al-Islam group, as fighting entered a fifth week in Nahr al-Bared. 32
Three soldiers were killed and seven wounded in the latest battles, security sources said. 33
June 19: Northern part of the camp taken
On June 19, the Army finally managed to take all of the main positions of the Islamists. All of the buildings in the new (northern) part of the camp where the Fatah al-Islam fighters were dug in had been taken. After that the fighting had stopped in this area. Another seven soldiers were killed during this new round of fighting. Now the army offensive will be pushing the remaining militants back into the south of the camp.citation needed
June 21-22: The camp falls
On June 21, the Lebanese defence minister reported that all of the Fatah al-Islam positions on the outlaying areas of the camp, from which the militants were attacking soldiers, have been taken or destroyed. The only positions left are those in the center of the camp from where the militants pose no threat and thus the Army has no intention of attacking the center of the camp. With this it was declared that the Lebanese military operation to destroy Fatah al-Islam was over. But heavy fighting still continued until late in the afternoon on June 22.
Lebanese troops shelled the camp after fighters shot dead a soldier and wounded three others. Security sources said Fatah al-Islam snipers hit the four soldiers at Nahr al-Bared camp. The death was the first military fatality since the Lebanese army declared an end to major combat. 34
Three Lebanese soldiers have been killed after a booby-trap set by Fatah al-Islam fighters exploded, according to an army spokesman. 35
June 24: Clashes in Tripoli, attack on UNIFIL
At least 10 people have been killed in fighting between Lebanese troops and suspected Islamic militants in the northern city of Tripoli. Two civilians, one soldier, a policeman and at least six Islamist gunmen are said to have been killed in the fight.
It came after the army raided an apartment of a suspected militant in the Abu Samra district. 36
Three Spanish and three Colombian peacekeepers have been killed in a blast in south Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) confirmed. Jose Antonio Alonso, the Spanish defence minister, said those killed were from the Spanish army and that officials were treating the blast as "a terrorist attack". A police source said a car bomb, "most likely" driven by a suicide bomber, caused the blast which hit two Unifil vehicles near the southern town of Khiam, bordering Israel. 37
June 25: Continued advancements
Heavy fighting continued between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam. Reports from army sources stated that 3 army soldiers and 15 militants were killed. About 40 bodies of killed militants were cleared from the camp and 40 Fatah al-Islam militants were arrested. In a report by Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr to al Arabiyeh TV recounted that the attack on UNIFIL was not a suicide bomb but it was a remotely activated car bomb.38
June 28: Fighting in the mountains
On June 28, the military found and engaged a group of Fatah al-Islam militants, in a cave in the mountains south of Tripoli, in fighting that killed 5 Islamists. 39
Three Islamist militants were killed as the Lebanese army repulsed an attack inside a Palestinian camp in northern Lebanon, security sources said. Fatah al-Islam militants according to the army have lost all their positions and for this reason they are now trying to infiltrate into the army positions.
Renewed exchanges of gunfire between the army and Fatah al-Islam fighters around Nahr al-Bared refugee camp were reported, amid bursts of shells fired by the military. 40
July 12: Army attacks again
The Lebanese army launched a massive barrage of bombs in what appeared to be the start of a final showdown with the Fatah al-Islam militants, in the Nahr al-Bared camp. "Today's bombardment is a first step in the final battle against the terrorist group whose fighters have refused to surrender to the army," an army officer at the scene said. But the military command denied reports that the shelling was part of a final assault on Fatah al-Islam terrorists. The heavy artillery barrage, which started at dawn, came hours after some 200 residents were evacuated from Nahr al-Bared.
Witnesses said the army was bombarding the camp from all sides, often at a rate of 7 to 10 artillery shells per minute. Black smoke billowed from the camp's bombed-out, smoldering buildings, most of which have been reduced to rubble.
Four Lebanese soldiers were killed and nine wounded. 41
July 14: Katyusha attacks
In an unexpected escalation in fighting at Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, Fatah al-Islam militants fired on at least 15 107mm Katyusha rockets at towns surrounding the camp. A Lebanese Army statement said random rockets fired from inside the camp left one civilian dead and several others wounded.
Clashes on July 14 centered around the Safouri and Saasaa neighborhoods inside the camp. The army surrounded a group of militants in a shelter in Safouri, cutting them off, as soldiers continued to advance on all fronts, supported by artillery which pounded militants in the southwestern sector of the camp.
The army statement said soldiers have taken control of several buildings inside the camp that had been used by Fatah al-Islam snipers. Army engineers are working to clear the buildings of mines and booby-traps, and clear blocked roads in the camp, the statement said. The army source said booby-traps have slowed progress: "They have booby trapped everything, dynamite is everywhere." The army confirmed that two Lebanese Army soldiers had died. 42
July 15: Katyusha attacks
Security officials said at least five Katyusha rockets landed in farm fields in the northern Akkar region, a few miles north of the Nahr el-Bared camp. 43
Unknown gunmen shot dead Dharrar Rifai at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in south Lebanon. Rifai was a member of the now defunct Jund al-Sham group. 44
August 1: 3 killed on Lebanese Army anniversary
Fatah al-Islam fighters have killed three Lebanese soldiers during continuing clashes at a Palestinian refugee camp as the Lebanese army celebrates its 62nd anniversary. 4
August 2: killing of Abu Hureira
On August 2, Abu Hureira, the deputy commander of Fatah al-Islam, was killed in Abu Samra during a shootout with Lebanese police when he tried to flee them whilst shooting at a checkpoint set up by the police.45
August 21: truce
Fatah al-Islam fighters asked for a ceasefire to allow their families and remaining civilians to be evacuated. Military officials said that they would stop firing artillery shells into Nahr al-Bared in order to allow people to leave but it would not agree to a formal truce. 46
September 2: camp taken
Lebanese troops took control of the Palestinian refugee camp, killing at least 31 fighters who tried to flee 47
September 7: victory declared
The Lebanese Army officially declares victory in Naher al-Bared.Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick Corporation of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. The companies primary business is outboard motors.
The company began when engineer Carl Kiekhaefer purchased a small outboard motor company in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Kiekhaefer's original intention for the Kiekhaefer Corporation was to make magnetic separators for the dairy industry. The purchase included 300 defective outboard motors. Kiekhaefer and a small staff of employees rebuilt the motors and sold them to a mail-order company. The motors were so sound that the buyer purchased more. Kiekhaefer designed motors that withstood the elements better than his competition and called the motor Mercury after the fleet-footed Roman god. 1 Kiekhaefer took 16,000 orders at the 1940 New York Boat Show.
World War II
World War II changed the corporate climate, and Kiekhaefer sought a government contract to design two-man air-cooled chainsaws. Army engineers were unable to design a lightweight motor. Kiekhaefer designed a new lightweight chainsaw in 2 months. The Kiekhaefer powered chainsaw was able to cut through a 24-inch (610 mm) green log in 17 seconds, while it took the nearest competitor 52 seconds. Mercury was awarded the contract, and was the world's largest chainsaw manufacturer by the end of the war.
Mercury foresaw Americans interest in boating would increase after the war. Kiekhaefer introduced a 19.8 cubic inch, 10 horsepower (hp), two-cylinder alternate firing design motor at the 1947 New York Boat Show called the "Lightning" or KE-7.
Kiekhaefer decided to promote his company by owning a NASCAR and AAA team. The team dominated NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) (at one point winning 16 straight races), even though it only competed in 1955 and 1956. The team won the 1955 and 1956 NASCAR championships with drivers Tim Flock and Buck Baker. One of Mercury's innovations was using dry paper air filters, which are still standard in automobiles today.
1950s through 1970s
In 1957 Kiekhaefer started testing at a Florida lake he called "Lake X" in order to keep the location secret. Later that year the company designed a new 60 hp (45 kW) motor named "Mark 75." Two Mark 75 motors set an endurace record by running non-stop for over 50,000 miles (80,000 km) over 68 3/4 days on Lake X. The motors were refueled as they ran, and averaged 30.3 miles per hour.
In 1961 the company merged with the Brunswick Corporation.
The company introduced the MerCruiser motor at the 1961 Chicago Boat Show. The motor would later take over 80 percent of the world market. 2
Carl Kiekhaefer resigned as President of Kiekhaefer Mercury in 1969, and the name was changed to Mercury Marine. During this time, Mercury produced snowmobiles, like many other companies in the late 60's. The first ones incorporatd a 250 cc two man chainsaw engine. In 1971, they came out with the Rocket, and Lightning models. These sleds combined aluminum tunnels with Canadian Curtiss Wright (CCW) engines. The Rocket was a 340, and the Lightning a 400 with electric start. By 1972, Mercury started production of the Hurricane, a lightning fast sled with slide suspension (as opposed to bogie wheel). This started off a new era in snowmobile construction for the whole industry and the sled's basic format set up what we see today in modern snowmobiles. Mercury was renowned in the 1970s as one of the best racing and performance snowmobile manufacturers, as well as an industry leader in marine engine production.
Today, Mercury product brands include Mercury, Mercury Racing, MerCruiser, and Mariner outboards (sold outside the U.S.). Outboard sizes range from 2.5 horsepower (1.9 kW) to 300 horsepower (220 kW). MerCruiser sterndrives and inboards range from 100 to 450 horsepower (340 kW) and Mercury Racing outboards produce up to 350 horsepower (260 kW) and sterndrives to 1,200 horsepower (890 kW). Subsidiaries include Mercury Precision Parts and Accessories as well as Mercury propellers and Mercury Jet Drives.
Mercury has recently developed a processor enhanced line of outboards called the "Verado" outboard engine 3. The "Verado" system integrates the outboard into an entire system, including "fly-by-wire" steering and advanced diagnostics.
In 2007 Mercury Marine began selling its Zeus drive system 4. Developed by Mercury and its joint venture company Cummins MerCruiser Diesel (CMD), the Zeus drive is a dual engine pod drive system. Some of the most notable benefits from this class design for boaters will be enhanced helm control. While underway an automated trim control feature simplifies operation. Also, Zeus includes Skyhook Electronic AnchorTM which will keep a vessel on a fixed heading within a tight range. The system might be called all weather as it will keep a heading in strong currents and winds.
Mercury Marine is the one of the world?? leading providers of marine propulsion. As $2.3 billion division of Brunswick Corporation, Mercury and its 6,200 employees worldwide provide engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications.
Mercury?? brand portfolio includes Mercury and Mariner, Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines, MotorGuide trolling motors, Mercury and Teignbridge propellers, MotoTron electronic controls, Mercuryinflatableboats, Mercury SmartCraft electronics, and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils.
SeaCore is a brand of sterndrive marine propulsion systems manufactured in the United States by MerCruiser. The SeaCore engine design utilizes materials, technologies, and systems, created specifically for Mercury Marine, to prevent galvanic corrosion within its engine, transom and drive. SeaCore propulsion includes models generating between 220 and 425 horsepower (317 kW). SeaCore is designed for a wide variety of vessels operated in or moored on saltwater.
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- Mercury Marine company history
- Mercruiser Information and Tech Help
Natural Rubber, also known as latex, is a highly flexible substance which is extracted from certain plants. Latex balloons contain small amounts of nitrosamines, but the amount which they release is non-hazardous. Nitrosamine is used as a solvent when processing latex. There are methods of reducing the amount of Nitrosamine in the finished product, but these methods are expensive. Most professionally used latex balloon brands, produce a 100% biodegradable balloon that takes less time than an oak left to degrade.
Inflatable foil balloons are made from plastics, such as aluminized PET film. Foil balloons are not elastic like rubber balloons, so that detailed and colorful pictures printed on their surfaces are not distorted when the balloon is inflated. Foil balloons are thus named because they sometimes have a metallic coating to make them shiny, however there have been concerns about metallic balloons causing short circuits when caught in overhead power lines. Because metallic balloons can cause power outages, it is recommended that the metallic balloons not only be tied by a string or ribbon with no metal in it, but also securely tied down by a weight to prevent the balloon from floating away. When finished using the balloons, cut the balloon to release the helium and dispose in a trash can.
Every toy balloon has an opening through which gases are blown into it. Balloons are usually filled by using one's breath, a pump, or a pressurized gas tank. The opening can then be tied off or clamped. Foil balloons are typically self-sealing. By filling a balloon with a gas lighter than air, such as helium, the balloon can be made to float. Helium is the preferred gas for floating balloons, because it is inert and will not catch fire (like hydrogen) or cause toxic effects when inhaled. Small, light objects (postcards, in balloon mail for example) are sometimes placed in balloons along with helium and released into the air and, when the balloon eventually falls, the object inside might be found by another person. Rubber balloons can also be filled with liquids (usually water) and can burst when they impact a solid object. Liquid-filled balloons are commonly referred to as water balloons or water bombs and used in playful fights, and sometimes vandalism.
Most toy balloons are a simple oval-like shape. Other balloons are longer and more cylindrical. Long balloons are often twisted and bent into simple, or intricate shapes which will hold their form when released. Balloon artists are people who quickly twist balloons into familiar or abstract shapes using the techniques of balloon modelling, usually for profit. Toy balloons are used as decorations and/or advertising space. Balloons are usually purchased in deflated form, however some party stores and vendors at special events will fill their balloons before selling them.
While toy balloons are primarily a toy, they are also sometimes used for demonstrations in classrooms.
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