TEL AVIV (Mar. 31)
Heavy fighting continued on the Syrian front for the 20th consecutive day amid signs that the Syrians were escalating and extending the scope of combat. Syrian gunners shelled Israeli positions today in the hours before dawn, continuing their recent habit of initiating artillery duels after dark. The shelling, aimed at Israeli forces in the northern section of the Yom Kippur War enclave, began at 3 a.m. local time and continued until 6 a.m. Earlier, the Syrians precipitated close quarters combat for the first time since the Oct. war when they attempted to infiltrate scouting platoons behind Israeli lines in the same sector. The Syrians were driven back without inflicting casualties.
But an Israeli soldier was wounded yesterday during artillery and tank duels that continued intermittently throughout the day. Another Israeli soldier was killed Thursday night in an after-dark artillery barrage. He was identified as Mordechai Daudi, 34, of Haifa. On Friday, tank and artillery duels continued from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Syrians opened fire again Friday night, shelling Israeli positions on Mt. Hermon for the first time since the Yom Kippur War. In today’s fighting, the Syrians fired Katyusha rockets at Israeli positions in the Tel Antar and Tel Marl sectors captured by Israel in the Yom Kippur War.