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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 03, 1973


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    Letter from Erich Honecker to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad expressing the GDR's opposition to the Israeli occupation of land acquired during the 1967 Six-Day War, and enumerating the military equipment which had recently been delivered to Syria from the GDR.
    "Letter from GDR Leader Erich Honecker to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad," November 03, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BA-SAPMO J IV 2/2.035/147
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Berlin, November 3, 1973

To the
Secretary General
Of the Syrian local leadership
Of the Arab Baath-Party

President of the Syrian Arab Republic

Excellency Hafez al-Assad


The Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and the government of the German Democratic Republic assure you of their respect and their firm solidarity regarding the enforcement of the Arab people's and states' righteous demands for complete withdrawal of Israel from the entire Arab territory which was occupied in 1967, and for meeting the legitimate demands of the Palestinian Arab people.

During these events, the people of the German Democratic Republic, together with the people of the Soviet Union and other countries of the socialist community, support, as always, those countries and peoples who fight for freedom and independence. This is also expressed in the joint declaration of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, of the State Council, and of the Council of Ministers, regarding the recent Israeli aggression.

In this connection, I have the honor to communicate to you that the German Democratic Republic, according to its message from October 10, 1973, provides the Syrian Arabian Republic with the following military technology and ammunition to support its righteous fight for freedom:

1. A squadron of interceptor fighter aircrafts MiG-21, consisting of 12 aircraft with corresponding ground equipment and 3 combat loads of ammunition and aircraft missiles.

2. 62 medium tanks of the T-54 AM type with 3 combat loads of ammunition
( - 6,100 grenades
- 720,000 rounds m.g. [machine gun] ammunition
- 3,600 hand grenades)
For equipping two tank battalions.

3. 300 bazookas RPG-7 with 4 combat loads of ammunition
(24,000 rounds)
4. 74,500 grenades, consisting of
15,000 grenades for 82 mm grenade launchers
40,000 grenades for 57 mm anti-tank guns
12,000 grenades for 85 mm anti-tank guns
2,800 grenades for 100 mm guns T-12
4,700 grenades for 130 mm guns

5. 30,000 anti-tank mines of the TM-46 type.

This military technology and ammunition have already been delivered to the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party and the government of the German Democratic Republic are convinced that this support will contribute to the success of the righteous fight of the people of the Syrian Arab Republic, fighting for freedom and independence, and assure you, Excellency, of their ongoing solidarity.

Please accept fraternal greetings from the people of the German Democratic Republic for the people of the Syrian Arab Republic, our close friend.

Yours respectfully,

E. Honecker
First Secretary of the CC SED
Chairman of the national defense council of the GDR


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