A Marriage of Convenience

Six months ago, the Soviet Union was no more than an irrelevant bystander in the Middle East poker game. But since then, Moscow has anted up with a vengeance by resupplying Syria with large quantities of highly sophisticated weapons. The Soviet aim has been not merely to replace equipment lost when Syria tried to blunt Israel's invasion of Lebanon last June, but to increase Soviet influence in the region by offering the regime of Syrian President Hafez Assad more and better materiel than he had before. Moscow, moreover, has added a new dimension...

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