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Soviet Missiles Arrived in Syria

Defense Minister Moshe Arens confirmed today that the first consignment of Soviet-made SS-21 ground-to-ground missiles have arrived in Syria, but said they did not radically change the balance of military power in the region.

However, Arens stressed that Israel would have to continue to increase its defense budget because of the massive rearmament of the Arab states. Priority in the national budget must be given to defense, he said.

The SS-2ls have a range of about 75 miles, which is less than that of the SCAD missiles already used by the Syrians. But they are more accurate, military sources here said, and can reach targets in much of Israel.