Recent violence against the four-nation peace-keeping force in Lebanon is causing concern in U.S. military circles.
March 17: Beirut
GV U.S. Soldier standing by car stopped at checkpoint.
SV U.S. Soldier speaking. (SOT)
GV Group of U.S. soldiers training.
GV Troops sandbagging road.
GV Armed troops on patrol.
SV INT Injured U.S. soldiers in bed inside tent. (2 SHOTS)
SVs Peace-keeping troops patrolling street and manning road-block. (2 SHOTS)
GV Street scenes with damaged mosque. (2 SHOTS)
March 17: Beirut
SCU General Barrow speaking. (SOT)
Washington: March 18
SCU Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger speaking. (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: U.S. SOLDIER: (SEQ 2) "The five incidents that we've had since we've been ashore. The previous incidents with the two (indistinct) and it's one of just the Israelis in a position with the locals and attempting to stop them. And every time we have that we view it with great concern but in so far as a life-threatening situation is concerned in this sector, not at all."
BARROW: (SEQ 9) "I don't like to ascribe bad motives to an ally, but the fact is we've had a number of these incidents, in an area where such incidents should not occur because our presence is so well established and known there, that is does raise some questions as to whether at some level, there hasn't been perhaps, some actual contrived effort at provocation."
WEINBERGER: (SEQ 10) "General Barrow's concern is a very real one, and he has expressed it very strongly, and any time a military commander expresses that concern, why, everybody in the department has to share that worry, and all of that's been transmitted to the Israeli government, by our State Department, and we'll just see what happens."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Recent violence against the four-nation peace-keeping force in Lebanon is causing concern in U.S. military circles. Marines posted in and around Beirut were carrying out their daily duties with increased vigilence on March 17, following incidents in which 14 Italian and U.S. troops were injured two days previously. An officer manning a roadblock near Beirut airport said the March 14 and 15 incidents were isolated occurrences. Meanwhile, in a latter to U.S. Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Marine Commandant General Robert Barrow has accused Israeli troops of deliberate provocation against the peace-keeping force. On March 18, General Barrow reiterated his statement. He told reporters in Beirut the latest spate of violence should not have occurred, because the presence of the multinational force there has long been accepted by local residents. Commenting on General Barrow's letter, Mr. Weinberger said in Washington that his department had taken General Barrow's allegations seriously, and the matter had been referred to the Israeli authorities.