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Israeli, Syrian forces girding

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY HILARY DEVRIES / May 11, 1981



Nicosia, Cyprus

Both Israel and Syria were believed to be building up forces near the Lebanon-Israel border, reports the Monitor's Middle East correspondent, John Yemma. A sense of inevitable clash persisted among Arab and Western observers.

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Relatively heavy shelling was reported early May 10 across the city's "green line," separating the Phalange-controlled areas from the areas controlled by the Syrian Army and leftist Lebanese militias. The shelling died down during the day.

While the element of surprise on the part of the Israelis cannot be ruled out , it seems likely that the crisis over the Syria placement of SAM missiles will not escalate much further until after US special envoy Philip C. Habib conferred with Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the Israeli Knesset debated the situation.