Lebanon Fast Facts

CNN —  

Here is a look at Lebanon, a Middle Eastern country bordering Syria, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.

About Lebanon

(from the CIA World Factbook)
Area: 10,400 sq km (slightly larger than Connecticut)

Population: 5,261,372 (July 2021 est.)

Median age: 33.7 years

Capital: Beirut

Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

Religion: Muslim 61.1%, Christian 33.7%, Druze 5.2% (2018 est.)


1918 - After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, France gains control of the area that comprises modern-day Lebanon.

November 22, 1943 - Lebanon proclaims independence.

1948-1975 - A large number of Palestinian refugees settle in Lebanon after the creation of Israel in May 1948. The frequent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters unsettle the country. Also at times, the Lebanese army fights battles against the Palestinians, causing further unrest.

July-October 1958 - US forces help to control civil unrest.

1975 - Civil war breaks out.

1976 - At the invitation of the Lebanese government, Syria sends troops, called the Arab Deterrent Force, to help end the civil war.

March 1978 - Israel invades Lebanon and occupies an area in the south. After protest from the United Nations, Israel withdraws, but creates a “security zone” in the south of the country, administered by the Army of South Lebanon.

June 1982 - Israel invades Lebanon to attack Palestine Liberation Organization targets.

August 1982 - Bashir Gemayel is elected president. However, he is assassinated on September 14. His brother, Amin Gemayel, replaces him as president on September 23.

September 15-18, 1982 - Hundreds of Palestinian refugees are killed in a refugee camp in Beirut. The murders are committed by Lebanese militia members but Israel is accused of complicity.

April 18, 1983 - The US Embassy in Beirut is bombed, killing 63.

October 23, 1983 - The French and US headquarters of a multinational peacekeeping force is bombed, killing 241 Americans and approximately 40 French soldiers.

February 1984 - The Lebanese Army nearly collapses due to defections of Muslim and Druze soldiers.

February 26, 1984 - US troops begin withdrawing from Lebanon.