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News In Brief

March 5, 1984

Yanta, Lebanon

Syrian suprise attack possible along 'red line'

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Israeli front-line commanders say Syrian forces in east Lebanon, aided by Soviet advisers and weapons systems, are now strong enough to launch a major surprise attack.

For six months the so-called red line that separates the two armies has been quiet. ''What has changed is that Syria has built up the capacity to attack without giving advance clues,'' said one of the front-line commanders, permitted by Israeli censors to be named only as Colonel Zev.

He said Syria had now deployed some 50,000 men.