Israeli and Syrian forces continued to exchange fire today in the Yom Kippur War enclave and the southern Golan Heights. Syrian artillery shelled Israeli positions on Mt. Hermon which was engulfed to day in snow storms driven by high winds. No Israeli casualties were reported. A military spokesman said today that Israeli 175 mm. guns had scored direct hits on targets well behind the Syrian lines Sunday. He said the Syrians were seen rushing ambulances and fire engines to the area about 15 kilometers behind the front lines indicating that they had suffered severe casualties.
An official Syrian communique said three soldiers were killed and one was wounded. Huge fires were seen in the target area following explosions which indicated that a munitions dump was hit by Israeli shells. The Syrians were reported to be using heavy earth-moving equipment to drive a road through the difficult terrain on the approaches to Mt. Hermon.
Meanwhile, relations between Syria and Lebanon were strained today over Lebanon’s refusal to hand over to Syria two Israeli pilots who balled out of a crippled warplane Monday over Lebanese territory and were captured by the Lebanese, it was reported here today from Beirut. Lebanon rejected requests for the pilots from both Syria and Israel, arguing that Lebanon need not yield the pilots as long as hostilities continued.
A Syrian government spokesman said, in a public statement in Damascus, that it was “shameful to place Syria, which is shedding blood for the purpose of liberation and dignity, on the same level as the Israeli enemy.” Israel’s request for the return of the pilots was made through the International Red Cross.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.