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Israel Continues Precautionary Moves

Long columns of Israeli infantry, artillery and armored antis continued to stream into the region bordering southern Lebanon over the weekend in what was officially described as a precautionary movement against a possible threat from Syrian forces or terrorists in Lebanon.

The convoys of tank carriers, field guns and foot soldiers snaked over the winding mountain roads all day Friday and yesterday through freezing winter rains, high winds and fog. Field engineers were seen preparing encampments for the arriving reinforcements. Other units are already dug in. The deployment was described by eye-witnesses as the largest ever undertaken by the Israeli army in the Lebanese border region. Settlers in the north expressed satisfaction and a new sense of security.

Israeli sources said there has been no noticeable movement by Syrian troops in Lebanon and expressed doubt that the Syrians would make any moves for the time being. But they noted that the Syrian agreement with Iraq freed Syrian troops along the Iraqi border for re-deployment facing Israel on the Golan Heights. Syrian forces there had been thinned out in recent months because of the fighting in Lebanon.

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