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December 22, 2016
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January 11, 2012
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October 7, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000504620002-6.pdf122.7 KB
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE TtONITOR 7 October 1985 ~i I.el~anon~or~r~sl~ng c~~stly embroilment? By Jim Mulr Special to The Christian Science Monitor Nicoeis, Cypnia The deployment of Syrian troops in the battered north Lebanese port city of Trip- oli yesterday marks the latest step in Syr- ' ia's campaign to bring its turbulent neighbor under control. But observers are di- vided over whether this means the Syrians are finally' succeeding in taming Lebanon - or whether they may be risking another dangerous and sapping embroilment. The use of Syrian troops to keep the peace will be watched closely in Beirut, where. clashes have continued despite the ' Aug. 22 cease-fire sponsored by Syria. If successful, -the Tripoli formula could en- courage the Syrians to step in militarily to end the anarchy prevailing in Beirut. Despite the Tripoli accord, there is still no sigh of the three surviving Soviet Em- bassy personnel abducted' last week by the so-called Islamic Liberation Organiza- tion, which murdered a fourth Soviet diplomat. The group was de- manding that the Sovi- ets pressure their ally Syria to stop the Tripoli battles. Over the weekend, the USSR evacuated 60 Soviet citizens from Beirut. There was also no sitzn Sunday of kidnapped US diplomat William Buckley. ay abductors claimed they had killed him in reyrisal for the Is- rae~, air 'eon Palestine Liberation Or- ganize on ea uarters in Tlmisia I e a servers were uzzled that the abductors wo Mr. Buckle~- because 01! e a on the PLO. The Islamic w c c rearnsi ility for Su~Iey 9 a~u ion m ' 1 r y anti-American, and the PLO is c~irren-Zy tayint~ to en?aae a political dia- logue with Washington. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/11 :CIA-RDP90-009658000504620002-6 (hie ea lanation was movided by NBC News, w c uote m ence .sources is wee ~ as ed uc un er torture two mon s an that a Hard on the PLO rove a convenient retest for an- nouncm anw e, ie US Embassy iII Beirut said Sunday it was investigating reports that an American who vanished in Leba- non last month might have been kid- napped. Reuters reports. Steven James Donahue disappeared while doing re- search for a book on narcotics smuggling.] The Syrian deployment in Tripoli was part of a cease-fire accord announced late Thursday night in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The truce ended nearly three weeks of increasingly violent battles be- tween pro- and anti-Syrian militias. Syria's previous efforts to control Lebanese cities have not been felicitous. Syrian troops entered Beirut in 1976 but found themselves locked in a violent. and inconclusive confrontation with the Chris- tian eastern half of the city two years later: In west Beirut, they became the tar- gets of car-bomb and other attacks, and were finally squeezed out by the Israeli siege in August 1982. In Tripoli, the new phase of Syrian pacification efforts follows a series of infra-Lebanese battles that have made it seem as though only the Syrians are capa- ble of saving Lebanon. Syria has been presiding over a series of meetings be- tween the Christian, Druze, and Shiite Muslim militias aimed at reaching a com- mon concsptlori of Lebanon's future. The Tripoli cease-fire accord had be- hind it the authority of Syrian President Hafez Assad, who held separate talks with the warring Tripoli factions -the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Tawheed Islami ("Islamic Unification"- movement and the coalition of Syrian-backed Lebanese parties which had been trying to dislodge the Tawheed from the city. The accord puts Syria in charge of se- curity in Tripoli, although the Lebanese Army and police will also play a pact in controlling the city. Under the accord, all security operations are to be the responsi- bility of a new security operations office, headed by the commander of Syrian forces in north Lebanon. The agreement calls for all the warring militias to hand in all their heavy and medium-caliber weap- onry to the Syrians. Small arms are to be collected and stored by the militias them- selves in their own depots, subject to in- spection by the operations office. Agreeing to give up their arms and to yield control of Tripoli represented a ma- jor climb-down by the Tawheed funda- mentalists, who had driven out the rival secular factions two years ago. In negotia- tions aweek after the fighting began Sept. 15, they refused to hand in their weapons. The Syrian military delegation that was leading the negotiations called off its me- diation and gave the green light for afour- pronged assault on the city by allied mili- tias operating out of Syrian-controlled territory around Tripoli. - With the Syrian-backed militias inch- ing their way forward into the city, the T~awheed fighters faced slow annihilation. But Iran, which has close relations with the Tripoli fundamentalists, stepped in to avert their destruction. An Iranian delegation escorted the lTawheed leader, Sheikh Saeed Shaaban, to Damascus for the talks that produced the cease-fire accord. The truce has basically worked so far. On Saturday, a Red Cross team was able to get into the city for the first time in a week and discovered massive destruction and appalling conditions. Local hospitals were crammed with casualties, while in some areas bodies w~+e still strewn amid the rubble in the streets. As many as 500 people are estimated to have died, with well over 1,000 wounded. Up to half a mil- lion of the city's 700, 000 inhabitants were believed to have fled before the worst of the battles began. "After a battering like that, it's hardly surprising that Tripoli would accept peace at any price," said one observer. "But wait till they've got their breath back." Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/11 :CIA-RDP90-009658000504620002-6