Habib faces harder stance by Syria over Lebanon

US envoy Philip Habib arrived in Beirut in a further attempt to break the deadlock over withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon. He faced a formidable task.

Syria, which has rejected an Israeli-Lebanon accord on withdrawal, seemed to harden its position. The government newspaper Tishrin said anyone expecting a backdown by Damascus was ''plunging into illusion.'' A day earlier, state-run Damascus radio said the US had revealed its true stand against the Arabs by its decision to lift an embargo on the sale of F-16 warplanes to Israel.

Under terms of the agreement, Israel would withdraw its troops along with Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization. PLO leader Yasser Arafat faced problems of his own as dissident officers in Lebanon challenged his leadership. As he met with guerrilla commanders in north Lebanon, a dissident Palestinian leader rejected a conciliation.

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