South Lebanese Army (SLA)
The South Lebanese Army was set up as a Christian militia under the command of Major Sa'ad Hadad in 1978, and ever since maintained close ties to Israel. In the early 1980s the SLA fought PLO terror. After the Lebanon War as Israel set up the security zone it decided to help the SLA maintain its position in south Lebanon. The IDF trained and supported the SLA and the SLA took part in protecting the security zone - mostly by defensive activities such as manning outposts and ongoing security operations. General Antoine Lahad-originally sent by the Lebanese government to the south to fight against terror cells-has commanded the SLA since 1984. As of early 2000 the SLA was comprised of about 50% Shi'ite Muslims and 50% Christians from villages in southern Lebanon.
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