Aoun, Michel Naim

Aoun, Michel Naïm,

1935–, Lebanese military and political leader. A graduate of Lebanon's military academy (1958), he fought in several major battles during the civil war (1975–90), rising to the rank of army general (1984). In 1988 he was appointed interim prime minister by outgoing president Amin GemayelGemayel
, Maronite Christian family active in Lebanese politics; leaders of the Phalange party (1937–82), and later the Phalange militia. Pierre Gemayel, 1905–84, founded the right-wing Phalange movement in the early 1930s.
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; Aoun, a Maronite Christian, was not recognized by Muslim leaders, who backed the existing Sunni-led government. In 1989 Aoun declared a "war of liberation" against the Syrian army in Lebanon; he was ousted by Syrian-led forces in 1990 and lived in exile in France from 1991 to 2005. He returned to Lebanon after Syrian troops withdrew, and his Free Patriotic Movement formed an alliance with HezbollahHezbollah
[Arab., = Party of God], Lebanese Shiite political party and militia. Founded in 1982 with Iranian help to oppose Israeli forces occupying S Lebanon, Hezbollah launched guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli forces (which were a factor in Israel's
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 in 2006. In 2016 Aoun was elected president of Lebanon after the post had been vacant for two years due to a political stalement.
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