WASHINGTON (Jul. 17)
The United States Defense Department admitted today that hundreds of Arab military officers, including some from the states that attacked Israel last month. are still receiving training at bases in the United States.
Army sources disclosed that 47 Israeli soldiers are currently being trained at Fort Bliss, Fort Leavenworth, Lackland Air Base, the Quantico Marine Base and Cecil Field in Florida.
A Defense Department spokesman said that 57 Jordanian Army officers and pilots are still receiving training at more than 15 bases and airfields around the country. The Jordanians are being trained in artillery, armor and the aerial techniques perfected by American flyers in Vietnam.
Although Syria broke off diplomatic relations with the United States and expelled American diplomats from Damascus, a Syrian officer is still receiving advanced training at Fort Lee, Va., the U.S. Army confirmed today. While Iraq has broken off relations with the United States and participated in the war against Israel, six Iraqi Army officers are still under active training at Fort Sill Artillery Base, Okla., Aberdeen Proving Grounds (ordnance) and Fort Benning (infantry and parachute troop center). Two Iraqis are being trained in aviation tactics at Keesler Field, Miss.
Other Arab trainees here at American expense include 65 from Saudi Arabia, 154 from Morocco, 45 from Libya, 6 from Lebanon, 12 from Sudan and 7 from Tunisia.
The Defense Department said no Arabs had been expelled despite the changes in policy by the governments they represent. It said, however, that requests in future for training of additional officers from nations that had severed relations with this country will not be honored in the foreseeable future.
State Department sources said the training of Arabs should continue on grounds that it would strengthen American influence with the Arabs. Army officials said training was continuing and Arabs were being given access to technical data at the request of the State Department.
The continuation of this training was disclosed last week on the House floor by Rep. Bob Wilson, California Republican, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He asserted that the practice jeopardized American security since the nations the Arab trainees represented were collaborating with the Communist bloc through the Unified Arab Command. He said technical data was being transmitted by the Arabs to Communist military technicians and thus could jeopardize American forces in Vietnam.