Middle East: Showdown in Tripoli

U.S. warships arrive, Israel and Syria mobilize, and Arafat is cornered

On one afternoon the barrage grew so ferocious that rockets hailed down at the rate of 60 a minute. For several terrible hours, every second brought a flash of light from Syrian positions south and east of Tripoli, then a dull thump and a puff of smoke as the shells hit targets in the Baddawi refugee camp and the lower slopes of Turbul mountain north of the Lebanese city. Every so often a round strayed and hit Tripoli itself, crashing into a...

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