UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Jun. 14)
Gen. Yigal Yadin, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Army who is now on a visit to the United States, today ridiculed the statement by State Department officials before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that the United States hopes to make the army of Iraq a “stabilizing force” in the Middle East.
Speaking at a luncheon of the United Nations Correspondents Association, Gen. Yadin, who faced the Iraq military forces for six years, said that peace in the Middle East would be “precarious” if it were based on the Iraqi Army.
“I don’t want to underestimate the Iraqi Army as far as Israel is concerned,” he said, “but I would like to draw your attention to two factors: 1. The whole Iraqi Army could not overcome the opposition of a single small British brigade at Habbiniyah during the second World War. 2. The whole Iraqi Army, plus the whole Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese armies could not overcome the small Israeli Army during the Palestine war.”
It was “a dangerous assumption” in the opinion of Gen. Yadin, that this was the best force in the Middle East. Nevertheless, he said, Israel was worried about the supplies and weapons given to the Iraqis. “I don’t think that the Iraqi Army has any value as far as world peace is concerned but it can be more than a nuisance value as far as Israel is concerned.”