US asks Israel not to retaliate against Syria for hang-glider attack

The United States has asked Israel to refrain from retaliating against Syria for a hang-glider attack by a Syrian-backed guerrilla group that killed six Israeli soldiers, State Department officials said yesterday. US diplomats have also asked Syria to use its influence with the Palestinian guerrilla group that carried out the Nov. 25 attack in northern Israel and prevent further actions by the group against Israel, the officials said.

``We've asked both sides to exercise restraint,'' said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ``It's much better to avoid escalation between Syria and Israel,'' he added, noting that the two enemy states had enjoyed relatively calm relations in recent months.

The requests to both sides were made last week in the wake of concern expressed by Jordan's King Hussein that Israel was planning a retaliatory strike for one of the bloodiest attacks against its troops in recent years, said the official.

The summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was also a factor, he added. The Soviets support Syria while the US supports Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

``The summit was a consideration, although by no means a major one. After all, it will be over in three days,'' the official said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir verified that Israel had been asked not to retaliate, but he said the country would make its own decision on when and how to respond.

King Hussein was concerned that an Israeli attack would undermine the progress achieved last month at an Arab League summit meeting in Amman.

Syria has not responded to the US request, said the US official.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK