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May 15, 1981 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-05-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, May 15, 1981 5

EXCALIBUR Habib Extends Missile Shuttle Mission

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Committee, said "we are
very hopeful we can find
some basis which will
permit a return to normalcy
and a reduction of the ten-
sions which are still serious
and dangerous." He said
there has been "a thicken-
ing" of the SAM-6 missiles
in Lebanon and "military
posturing on both sides,"
meaning Israel and Syria.
On Wednesday, Israel re-
peated its denial that any of
its aircraft was shot down
over Lebanon on Tuesday. A
military spokesman said
the wreckage of an Israeli
plane displayed on Damas-
cus television Tuesday
night was probably that of a
"drone" (unmanned recon-
naissance aircraft) that dis-
appeared over Syria about
18 months ago. He said the
Syrians were using it for
propaganda purposes in an
attempt to substantiate
their claim to have downed
an Israeli plane on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Syrian
missiles which were fired
Tuesday at Israeli planes
during a reconnaissance
flight over the Bekaa Valley
in Lebanon failed to hit
their targets because the Is-
raeli planes were equipped
with sophisticated U.S. de-
vices _that scrambled the
signals on the Syrian radar
system which was directing
the missiles.
There was no official
confirination in Israel of
these reports. There were
also reports abroad that
the Syrians had launched
the missiles in order to
test Israeli capabilities of
dealing with them and
that the missiles were
launched from Syria, not
Lebanon. There was no
confirmation olthese re-
ports, either.
Begin disclosed in the
Knesset on Monday that he
had ordered the Israeli air
force two weeks ago to at-
tack the Syrian SAM-6
anti-aircraft missile bat-
teries in eastern Lebanon.
He indicated that he would
not hesitate to order an air
strike again if the Syrians
refuse to remove the mis-
siles.
Begin said the planned
attack was delayed first by
bad weather and then by a
personal letter from
President Reagan urging
Israel not to take any action
until all diplomatic means
to resolve the crisis are
exhausted. Begin described
Reagan's message as "one of
the friendliest letters re-
ceived by an Israeli gov-
ernment from an American
President in recent years"
and implied that its tone
convinced him to exercise
restraint for the time being.
Begin said there are pre-
sently 14 anti-aircraft bat-
teries on the Lebanese-
Syrian border. One of them,
a SAM-9 battery, is oper-
ated by Libyan soldiers,
Begin said. In Lebanon pro-
per there are presently five
Syrian SAM-6 batteries and
on the border four SAM-6,
two SAM-2 and two SAM-3

(Continued from Page 1)
ing Zahle and the Lebanese
coastal plain; Israel would
reduce its aerial activity
over Lebanon; Syria, some
time later, would quietly
withdraw its anti-aircraft
.issiles from Lebanon.
In Washington, Secre-
tary of State Alexander
Haig said that it was too
early to judge whether
Habib's mission was
achieving results but that
he would remain in the
region as long as we felt
he could make a con-
structive contribution to
the situation." He de-
scribed the situation as
"still serious • and
dangerous."
Haig, who spoke to re-
porters following a closed-
door meeting with the
House Foreign Affairs

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allow Syria to take over
Lebanon or' any other
neighboring country to Is-
rael."
Modai, who was in
Canada after visiting
Washington where he had
talks with Reagan Ad-
ministration officials, told a
press conference that it is
"within the power of Israel
to pKeserve the status quo in
Lebanon and if the Soviets
want to intervene, then
Lebanon will become an
issue for the free world be-
cause it is oil territory and
the gate to Asia and Africa..
"Israel can take risks up
to a limit and is capable of
eradicating the missiles
Syria now has in Lebanon.
Legally, and from a view-
point of security, Israel is
entitled to remove the mis-
siles," he said.

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RIRMIN GHAM
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