MIDDLE EAST: A Desert Battle And a Deadline

Jordan's King Hussein has intermittently rubbed the Syrian military regime the wrong way ever since he began his repression of the Palestinian guerrillas in earnest. Last month's final drive, which all but extinguished the fedayeen presence in the Jerash woods of northern Jordan, so upset Damascus that Syria closed her border with Jordan. The decision disrupted the usual heavy road traffic between Amman and Beirut and forced Jordan to route its phosphate exports and all imports through its only port at Aqaba.

Last week the crackle of machine-gun fire and the dull thud of mortars rent the still, dry air...

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