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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

May 18, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Syrian missile crisis

But US presidential envoy Phillip C Habib, meeting the royalty in the Riyadh, seemed to have sought more time for America’s effort to head off a new war over the missile crisis.

By: Editorial |
May 18, 2021 4:00:54 am
Unofficial reports said 14 were killed and 43 injured.

Syria moved stocks of Soviet-made SAM-6 anti-aircraft missiles into East Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, hours after Saudi Arabia pledged full “full support” to Damascus in case of a Syrian-Israeli military showdown. But US presidential envoy Phillip C Habib, meeting the royalty in the Riyadh, seemed to have sought more time for America’s effort to head off a new war over the missile crisis. Syrian peacekeeping forces and Lebanon’s rightist Christian militia meanwhile clashed on a second straight day of artillery and rocket duels in Beirut and the East Lebanon Christian city of Zahle. Unofficial reports said 14 were killed and 43 injured.

Assam talks impasse

Doubts about a successful outcome of the Assam talks, now underway, surfaced, after two members of the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad said that there was little chance of a solution given the Centre’s obstinate position on the foreigners’ issue. The Assam agitators were disappointed that the Centre had not made any fresh move.

China-Vietnam clash

Chinese troops beat back five attacks by a Vietnamese regiment and killed more than 150 soldiers in the third Vietnamese offensive against China’s Fakashan mountain region in 12 days, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua said the Vietnamese fired several thousand rounds of artillery barrage and launched attacks on Chinese positions along the Guangxi region.

Sheikh Hasina back

Hasina Wajed, the daughter of the former Bangladesh President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, returned home to Dhaka from Calcutta after a six-year exile. Wajed, 33, was welcomed by tens of thousands of workers of the Opposition Awami League. She said she is returning to reorganise the Awami League, formerly led by her father, until his assassination in 1975. Mrs Wajed has been elected chief of the country’s largest opposition party.

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