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open fire on
Syrian troops opened fire yesterday
near the Beirut-Damascus highway on
an Israeli armored force airlifted deep
into the central Lebanese mountains,
reports from Beirut said. Syrian rein-
forcements were reported streaming
The reported clash east of Beirut
marked an ominous escalation of the
Middle East's latest war, launched by
Israel last weekend for the stated pur-
pose of driving Palestinian guerrillas
from southern Lebanon.
EARLIER IN the day, the Israelis
reported their warplanes shot down six
Syrian MiGs in three air battles over
Lebanon and Israel - the most intense
air warfare between Syria and Israel in
The Israeli invasion force pressed its
campaign against the Palestinians. On
the embattled coastal road to Beirut,
the Israelis pounded guerrilla defen-
ders with furious air and sea bombar-
Palestinian strongpoints as close as
10 miles to the Lebanese capital were
reported under fire, besieged or
overrun. The large port of Sidon, 25
miles south of the capital, was reported
THE SUDDEN airlifting of Israeli
forces to the mountains east of Beirut
helped further close a noose around
guerrillas to the south. Other Israeli
forces were already in the far south and
southeast, and had a stranglehold on
the coastal highway in the west, cutting
the southern guerrillas' supply lines
But the Israelis' lightning drive, pun-
ching more than 40 miles north in three
days, also brought them ever closer to
an all-out confrontation with the
estimated 30,000 Syrian troops who are
stationed in Lebanon to police the Arab
League truce that ended the 1975-76
Lebanese civil war.
"We don't want war with Syria,"
Prime Minister Menachem Begin
declared before the Israeli Parliament
in Jerusalem. "I appeal to President
Hafez Assad to instruct his soldiers not
to strike at Israeli soldiers."
When they launched the invasion last
weekend, the Israelis said its goal was
to drive Palestine Liberation
Organization guerrillas 25 miles back
from the Israeli border in order to
protect northern Israeli towns from
The first report of the Israeli lunge
toward the Beirut-Damascus road
came from Associated Presss
correspondent Edmond Shedid, who
reported seeing Israeli helicopters
ferry about 100 tanks and other ar-
mored vehicles to the hilltops above the
town of Deir el-Qamar, 12 miles
southeast of Beirut.
THE ISRAELIS pushed north
largely unchallenged until they reached
the town of Ain Dara, little more than a
mile south of the highway linking the
Lebanese and Syrian capitals, the
Beirut reports said.
The Syrian command issued a com-
munique saying Syrian artillery and
helicopter gunships opened fire on the
fast-charging Israeli column at Ain
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press international reports
Jet crash in Brazil kills 137
FORTALEZA, Brazil- A Brazilian jetliner slammed into a mountain
peak in heavy rain and fog near this northeast coastal city yesterday, killing
all 137 people aboard, an air force rescue spokesman said.
VASP Airlines Director Jose Rodrigues da Silva said it was not im-
mediately known why the Boeing 727 crashed but the weather may have
been partly to blame. He said the plane carried 128 passengers and nine crew
Maj. Luis Gonzaga Lopes, coordinator of the rescue operation, said "the
helicopters have located the wreckage of the plane and have informed me
that, unfortunately, there are no survivors."
The VASP office here did not immediately confirm the number of
The accident occurred at 2:55 a.m. local time (1:55 a.m. EDT) on a
domestic run to Fortalez from Sao Paulo, 1,000 miles to the south, with a
stopover in Rio de Janeiro, the VASP office in Rio de Janeiro said.
Argentina readies for pope
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina- Argentina, getting ready to welcome Pope
John Paul II on Friday, apparently intends to avoid using the two-day visit
as a focus for political harangues against Britain.
The pontiff arranged the tour to "balance" his ecumenical trip last week
to Britain-Argentina's foe in the undeclared war for the Falkland Islands.
He will spend 30 hours on Argentine soil, meeting with President Gen.
To celebrate John Paul's visit, meanwhile, the government freed 128
prisoners, Interior Minister Gen. Alfredo Saint Jean announced.
Kirkpatrick says she won't resign
UNITED NATIONS- U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, at the center
of a series of political and diplomatic storms, said yesterday she had no in-
tention of resigning "in anything like the foreseeable future.
"I have no intention of quitting this job," she said in commenting on
rumors that she was getting ready to step down because of policy
disagreements with Secretary of State Alexander Haig.
Late last month, Kirkpatrick, a former professor of government at
Georgetown University, reportedly had an angry 45-minute telephone exh-
change with Haig during which she accused him of tilting U.S. policy too
much toward Britain in the Falklands conflict. On Friday, Kirkpatrick
joined Britain in vetoing a Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire
in the FalklandIslands-only to receive belated instructions from Haig that
she shouldhave abstained.
Reagan policy to allow nations
more control over plutonium
WASHINGTON- President Reagan has approved a major policy change
that would give other nations more control over the reprocessing of
plutonium from nuclear fuel supplied by the United States, sources said
The presidential sanction, given last Friday while Reagan was in France
preparing for the economic summit meeting, caps a review begun last year
of the anti-proliferation policies of former President Carter.
Reagan's new policy was immediately attacked by some critics as a step
toward the proliferation of nuclear weapons, of which plutonium can be a
Under the new policy, nations receiving atomic fuel from the United States
would be given blanket approval to reprocess the spent fuel rods removed
from a nuclear power plant, thus removing the plutonium from the rods, said
administration sources who declined to be identified.
The change replaces Carter's policy of permitting reprocessing only on a
case-by-case basis, which involved a review by the United States of each
request by a foreign country.
Justice Department considers
repeal of income disclosure act
WASHINGTON - Reagan administration officials said yesterday they
have been studying proposals to seek repeal of the requirement that top
federal officials make public their financial holdings.
They suggested the Watergate-inspired Ethics in Government Act of 1978
has harmed the recruitment of exectuives for the government without im-
proving ethics, but acknowledged they could offer no hard data to support
Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Rose, whose Office of Legal Policy
in the Justice Department has been making the study, said there was no
timetable for offering amendments to the act.
"Realistically, prospects in the near term for any change in the statute are
very poor," Rose said. He added that the most politically opportune time for
such proposals would be in the first year of a president's second term.
Top Reagan administration officials have been embroiled in controversy
over their financial arrangements in recent weeks after their holdings were
disclosed on annual financial statements required by the act.
Critical comments were directed at President Reagan after he disclosed
that he and his wife accepted more than $31,000 in gifts last year.
Beirut grows fearful
as Israelis, approach
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Refugees open air. Some refugees accompanied
are flooding into Beirut from southern by gunmen are trying to occupy un-
Lebanon and the most urgent question finished buildings.
on everyone's lips is where will the The coastal town of Jiye has been
Israelis stop. overrun by the Israelis. The power plan
With the sounds of combat all around there, which supplied about half of
them, and Israeli jets flying Beirut's needs, was knocked out of
reconaissance missions or howling low commission, prompting prolonged
to bomb, war-hardened Lebanese say power cuts.
the invasion is fraying their nerves There also has been a run on gasoline
almost as much as the 1975-76 civil war. following word that Israeli shells set
PEOPLE IN the shops and grocery afire storage tanks at the mouth of the
stores of Moslem-controlled West Zahrani River, site of one of Lebanon's
Beirut keep their radios tuned to two small oil refineries.
newscasts for the often conflicting MOST WEST Beirut shops are open,
reports on Israel's advance. but the streets empty when the Israelis
Merchants and customers stop in fly over. Anti-aircraft cannons, many
mid-sentence to catch the latest of them mounted on pickup trucks that
bulletins. are parked around the city, send up
Israeli warships south of Beirut are shell fire.
shelling shore positions suspected of Lebanese also are anxious about
being camps and ammunition dumps staying in touch with loved ones who
for Yasser Arafat's Palestine might be trapped in southern regions
Liberation Organization. occupied or besieged by the Israelis.
Ahead of the Israelis come the There is one elderly woman whose
frightened refugees, crowded into son left Beirut early Sunday to drive
taxicabs or riding with their south of the PLO-controlled town of
belongings in the backs of trucks. Some Nabatiyeh, one of the Israelis' prime
must walk. targets.
THE PUBLIC garden in West Beirut The woman's son was due back in
is crowded with homeless who are Beirut that afternoon but has yet to
sleeping in makeshift tents or in the return.