172. President’s Daily Brief1
1. Arab States-Israel
Cairo may be prepared to launch a campaign urging strikes against US interests in the Arab world. Both Egyptian and Syrian domestic broadcasts this morning called on the “Arab masses” to destroy all US and “imperialist” interests in the “Arab homeland.” Last night Cairo radio claimed it had proof of US and British participation in the “aggression.” Demonstrations have now taken place against US embassies and installations all over the Arab world.
Arab oil-producing countries, meeting in Baghdad, say they will stop selling oil to any country which takes part in or supports Israel in the fighting. Baghdad radio said this morning that the pumping of Iraqi oil has been stopped “because of US and UK attitudes.”
In the fighting, Israel has gained an early and perhaps overwhelming victory in the air, but the progress of the war on the ground is unclear. If Israeli claims regarding damage to Arab combat aircraft are valid, they have destroyed the entire Jordanian inventory of 21, two thirds of the Syrian inventory of 69, and 250 of some 430 Egyptian planes. Arab counterclaims of 158 Israeli planes destroyed seem grossly exaggerated, but actual losses to the Israeli force of about 270 aircraft are not known.
Firm information on ground action remains sparse. The Israelis claim they have captured the “outer positions” of Kuntilla in southeastern Sinai and reached the outskirts of al-Arish in northern Sinai.
In Jordan, King Husayn said this morning that Israel is pushing ahead in a “punitive fashion.” He ended with a plea that the US intercede.