MIDDLE EAST: Syria's Assad: Under Pressure

Syria's Assad Under Pressure

The mystery of the Middle East last week involved a country whose politics are murky even at the best of times. Is Syria's President Hafez Assad in serious trouble because of Lebanon? Israeli intelligence officials, no friends of Assad obviously, predicted that Syria "is on the eve of a coup." Syrian tank units, the Israelis said, had been pulled back to Damascus to protect the President. Palestinians in Beirut, who are also hostile to Assad's regime, insisted that Syrian army officers had been jailed for protesting their government's orders....

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