Dug In and Taking Losses

A costly clash with Syria stirs rising concern in the U.S. over its Middle East role

The 28 U.S. Navy planes that attacked Syrian positions in Lebanon early Fast week were meant to send a message to the government of President Hafez Assad: for every Syrian strike against American forces, such as the previous day's firing on U.S. reconnaissance planes, expect a strike in return. Unfortunately, delivering the message proved costly: two planes lost, one pilot killed, one captured, a Lebanese woman dead in the crash of one of the fighter-bombers. The air attack also sent a number of unintended messages. It told...

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