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Syria Pledges to Aid Libya Against U.S.

August 26, 1986|From Times Wire Services

DAMASCUS, Syria — President Hafez Assad of Syria pledged unqualified support for Libya if it is attacked by the United States again, making the vow in a joint communique issued today after his two-day visit to the North African nation.

Assad returned home Monday night.

His summit with Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi coincided with U.S. warnings that America is prepared to strike anew against Libya if Kadafi sponsors terrorist attacks and with joint U.S.-Egyptian air and naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean. (Story on Page 9.)

U.S. jets bombed the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi on April 15 to destroy what Washington said were terrorist command centers in retaliation for the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque in which two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman were killed.

The statement said the two leaders had agreed that "abortive, barbaric aggression" by the United States against Libya last April constituted a "dangerous precedent which humanity has never experienced before, as well as (being) the climax of state terrorism."

"Any aggression on Syria or Libya will be considered as an aggression on both," said today's communique on the three sessions Assad and Kadafi held Sunday and Monday. "President Assad declared that Syria stands with all its potential by the side of Libya to counter any aggressive action and to face the threats of America, Zionism and its allies."

It said the two leaders denounced the Egyptian-U.S. maneuvers and "called on the Egyptian masses to . . . counter this provocation," without clarifying what the Egyptian masses were expected to do.

A commentary earlier today by Libya's official JANA news agency, however, called on the people of Egypt to revolt against President Hosni Mubarak's "ruling regime."

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