Created: 4/27/1981

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LEBANON: New Syrian Attack*

Sm'ian attacks over the veekend on Phalange positions in the iwttaina northwest of Zahlah have improved Damascus' ability to ztevatcn traditional christian areas.j

The new clashes began on Saturday when Syrian forces, backed by their Lebanese leftist allies, launched clcar-mg operations against Phalange positions*1

The new Syrian military moves not only restrict further Phalange access to the Zahlah area but place Syrian or Syrian-supported troopsosition to carry any future fighting directly into the Christian areas. Syrian guns, moreover, would beosition to threaten the traditional Christian districts where many families of Phalange militiamen from Beirut have taken refugefighting in the capital.

7 April1


Even if the Syrians agree at some point to give up the new positions they seized over the weekend, they undoubtedly will turn them over to their allies rather


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