Syria Reported Ready for War with Israel; May Involve Jordan Too

Syria announced yesterday it had completed “all preparations” to counter “any attack” by Israel, it was reported here today from Baghdad. More Syrian troops reportedly have been moved up to the Syrian border facing Israel. A Baghdad Radio broadcast has issued a call for uniting Syrian, Iraqi and Egyptian armed forces against Israel.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Jordanian authorities were deeply concerned over the possibility that the unstable leftist Syrian regime might provoke a war with Israel, which would involve all the Arab states. The Telegraph declared that tension between Israel and the Arab states was “higher today than at any time since Suez” in 1956. It also reported that Syria had been “inciting the Palestine Liberation Organization to intensify attacks on Israel, and to stage them so as to involve Jordan more deeply than Syria.

The Telegraph also reported that Premier Yussef Zayyan, of Syria, had armed groups of Syrian workers “on the patterns of Communist China’s Red Guards,” and that President Nasser of Egypt seemed to be with the Syrian regime in its “firebrand policy” against Israel. Maj. Gen. Ahmed Sweidani, the Syrian chief of staff, was quoted as saying that the Syrian population would soon form “an armed front from the Israeli border in the south to the Turkish border in the north.” He added that threats by Israel or King Hussein in Jordan “do not frighten us.”

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