ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Dec 14, 1983
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(Studio) USS New Jersey reported shelling Syrian positions in mts. near Beirut, Lebanon.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings
(Beirut, Lebanon) Extent of United States shelling examined; films shown. Attack implied in retaliation for Syrian assault of United States reconnaissance planes over its territory; locations of United States shelling illustrated on map. Downing of United States Navy aircraft in same area recently recalled.
REPORTER: Charles Glass
(DC) Apparent role of mounting political pressure on military from White House and civilian leadership at Pentagon in decision for artillery attack today examined; General Bernard Rogers and General John Vessey recalled opposing presence of battleship in Lebanon at all. Basis of their opposition as well to use of large artillery guns explained; extent of firepower of USS New Jersey's guns detailed. Navy mentioned pressuring for restoration of other battleships currently mothballed.
REPORTER: John McWethy
(Studio) Syria's response to United States naval barrage reported; United States envoy Don. Rumsfeld noted arriving in Damascus shortly after shelling.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings
(DC) President Reagan's denial that United States is seeking war with Syria examined. [REAGAN - won't prohibit troops from defing. selves; isn't seeking conflict with Syria.] Representatives Les Aspin and Lee Hamilton, supporters of President's troop authority policy in Lebanon, noted writing him today of their concern over situation; letter quoted on screen. [REAGAN - considers criteria for withdrawing United States troops from Lebanon.] President mentioned announcing reelec. decision January 29, 1984.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson
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