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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 02, 1949

UNTITLED REPORT ON SYRIAN MILITARY MOVEMENTS

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    Report on Syrian military defense maneuvers on the Syria-Lebanon border and Israeli attempts to acquire intelligence on these maneuvers.
    "Untitled report on Syrian military movements," June 02, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 1, File 122/1, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176037
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122/1

Beirut, 2/6/1949- No. 7

Members of the intelligentsia believe that the military manoeuvres undertaken by Syria on the border area do not target Lebanon but aim simply at testing their ability to defend Syria and Damascus if ever the Jews attacked from the Marje'youn-Hasbaya-Beqaa axis. It would be for the Jews to advance into Syria through Mount Hermon, occupy Wadi al-Mawt (Death Valley), and proceed from there to Damascus.

They believe that the Syrian Government's actions do not indicate belligerency towards Lebanon but rather a lack of trust in Lebanese decision-makers and the fear that they either might make a deal with the Jews or, at least, stay neutral and fail to intercept the advancing Jewish forces.

2. I also noticed heightened activity on the part of Mr Jack Franco, the main Jewish intelligence operator, in his quest to find out the nature of these military activities in Syria. He personally told me that his group is painstakingly looking into the matter through informers working under his command.

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