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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 30, 1957


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    The Soviets begin to build radar bases and fix anti-aircraft artillery in Syria, and the Syrian and Russian governments reach an military aid agreement.
    "Untitled report on developments in Syria," May 30, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 12, File 144/12, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.
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Thursday 30/5/1957

According to the latest news out from Syria, Soviet experts have started constructing radar bases and fixing anti-aircraft artillery along the Syrian-Turkish, Syrian-Iraqi, Syrian-Jordanian, and Syrian-Israeli borders. They have also drawn the maps necessary for constructing airports in the Syrian Desert, close to the Turkish-Iraqi borders, capable of accommodating a big number of large aircrafts to enable them to mount quick strikes against Turkey and Iraq.

Syria and Lebanon

An agreement has been concluded between the Syrian and Russian Governments according to which the latter would give the former, within the next two months, a gift of military equipment to the value of 150 million dollars. The Soviet Ambassador in Damascus also gave the Syrian Deuxième Bureau 50 million dollars, a part of which would be spent on fomenting trouble and instability in Lebanon. About two weeks ago, this sum was added to the Syrian Deuxième Bureau's budget. The Deuxième Bureau has increased the amount of its financial assistance to opposition figures in Lebanon to enable them to carry out operations against the Lebanese Government soon, before the opportunity afforded by the elections passes them by. The Deuxième Bureau wants Mr Sa'eb Salam to receive this assistance; personally distribute part of it to leaders of the opposition, and allocate another part to covering popular activities aimed at toppling the Presidency of the Republic and the Prime Minster from power. The first is to be replaced by Hamid Franjieh, and the second by Abdullah al-Yafi who, once in control of the situation, will pursue a different Lebanese political track more in tune with those of Syria and Egypt, and adopt leftist policies.

Orders were given to the Lebanese Communist Party to follow in the opposition's footsteps and conclude an agreement with any of the Lebanese Parties, regardless of its policies and programmes, in order to execute revolutionary activities aiming at toppling the current regime in Lebanon from power. Based on that, Communist Party leaders have started contacting various heads of Lebanese Parties, chief among which are al-Najjadah and the Muslim Brotherhood.


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