WASHINGTON (Dec. 18)
State Department spokesman Robert Anderson disclosed today that the United States maintains its own reconnaissance to detect possible violations of the disengagement agreements on the Golan Heights and in Sinai but was bound not to make their findings public. He refused to confirm or deny whether U.S. reconnaissance had found any violations.
He said the American reconnaissance operation was agreed to by the parties to the disengagement agreements which are also bound to keep the results confidential. He noted that “there are UN mechanisms to handle this matter so it is appropriate to let these organizations work.”
Anderson said he assumed the U.S. knows that Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres has advised the UN of disengagement violations on the Golan Heights and also mentioned violations in the Sinai “which have been rectified.” Replying to a question, Anderson said he did not know, but would try to find out, who pays for the U.S. reconnaissance operation and whether Congress gets the results on a regular or periodic basis.
NO QUARREL WITH PERES’ ESTIMATE
Meanwhile, Defense Department spokesman William Beecher said today that he “would not quarrel” with Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres’ statement in the Knesset yesterday that Syria has received more than 300 aircraft and 1000 tanks and missiles from the Soviet Union. While indicating that those figures were probably accurate, Beecher said Peres’ claim that there were 3000 Soviet military personnel in Syria may be a little high. “There are certainly more than 2000,” he said.