Beirut: A Fortress Under Heavy Fire

Reagan makes an offer—and issues a warning

The fiery glow of exploding shells and rockets flared across the night sky, illuminating the ghostly city. From high ground behind the Lebanese capital, tanks and artillery pounded away at nearby strongholds of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The surrounding Israeli army had all but cut off food, water and incoming traffic to West Beirut. The 500,000 residents of that encircled area of the city could do nothing but anxiously hope for some resolution to the impasse.

But as the battle of Lebanon moved into its second month,...

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