Middle East Stirring Up Rumors of War

Jerusalem and Damascus square off

"We have no intention of attacking Syria, and Syria has no chance of defeating Israel." So said Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres last week, for the moment allaying fears that Israel might be on the verge of making a pre- emptive strike against its strongest Arab neighbor. Almost simultaneously, Syria's Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam declared that the Damascus government of President Hafez Assad "is not seeking aggression," though he added that Syria would "respond with all the potential it possesses" if attacked. Those statements were intended to put to rest, at least temporarily, a flurry of war talk that has...

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