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War Enters Ninth Day: Syrians Routed, Stalemate in Sinai

Israeli armed forces continued to batter retreating Syrian forces and moved closer to Damascus while shelling military and oil installations around the Syrian capital. Two Iraqi columns were sent in to aid Syrian forces and were decimated. Jordan’s entry into the war yesterday was expected to prolong the hostilities but not to change the final outcome. Significantly King Hussein ordered his troops to join the Syrian forces rather than opening a third front. In the Sinai, Egypt continued to pour men and armor across the Suez and for the first time French-made Mirage planes were seen today aiding Egyptian forces in attacks against Israeli fighters. On the front as a whole, however, there appeared to be a stalemate. Meanwhile Israeli army sources said Friday that losses to date were lower than the 780 Israeli killed during the Six-Day War and most of the casualties occurred during the first two days of fighting. No specific official casualty figures or arms losses have been released.

At the United Nations Security Council session late Thursday evening Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban disclosed that a Keli missile aimed at Tel Aviv on Oct. 6 was diverted “only by an act of aerial virtuosity” on the part of an Israeli pilot. This was the first disclosure that Arabs had aimed such a missile at Israel’s most populated area but Eban did not say from which direction it had been launched. Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, in his right of reply to the Soviet representative, repudiated charges that Israel was the aggressor and asked pointedly if the USSR was the aggressor when it repelled the Nazi hordes from its territory. Eban’s and Tekoah’s presentations to the Council and to the news media have been characterized by many veteran observers of the UN scene as the finest in Israel’s diplomatic history. Their eloquence, lucidity and precision has stood in sharp contrast to the lies, calumnies and canards of the Russians and Arabs, according to these observers.

In Washington, Secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger told a press conference Friday that the war had the potentialities for getting out of hand and involving the big powers and appealed for moderation by all parties involved. He said that Israel and the U.S. were caught by surprise by the Arab attacks on Yom Kippur and emphasized that the Russians were “not helpful” by their “substantial” airlift of arms supplies to Syria. Press reports that Israel twice rejected U.S. warnings that Syria and Egypt would attack and that Israel also spurned a U.S. offer before hostilities erupted to try to dissuade Cairo and Damascus from going to war were denied Friday by a high Congressional source. It was also disclosed Friday in Washington that the Pentagon and the Atomic Energy Commission had for the first time issued written “shoot to kill” orders to their personnel handling nuclear weapons reportedly in response to the war, to the success and recklessness of Arab terrorists and the fear that some terrorist group might attempt to steal an atomic weapon.

On Friday, Senator James L. Buckley (C-R.NY), urged the Nixon Administration to supply Israel with more military equipment and to upgrade the quality of this equipment to cope with Soviet shipments of the latest sophisticated types of materiel to Egypt and Syria. Throughout the country trade union leaders issued statements of support for Israel, condemned the Arab aggression and urged the Administration to help replenish Israel’s military losses.

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