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Khadafy Calls Reagan an “Israeli Dog″

January 6, 1986

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) _ Libya’s government news agency claimed on Monday that a squadron of Israeli warplanes is stationed aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and said some Libyan reserve units are being mobilized.

The reports by the JANA news agency came a day after Libyan leader Col. Moammar Khadafy called President Reagan an ″Israeli dog.″

JANA gave no attribution for its reports. In its assertion that Israeli jet fighters were aboard a U.S. carrier, it said, ″Any island or base used in whatever way as part of aggression against Libya will be destroyed.″

It was believed the ″island″ referred to Italy’s Sicily, the site of the U.S. Navy base at Sigonella.

JANA said ″it is known ... a part″ of the Libyan reserve forces, estimated by Western analysts to number 40,000, were ordered to report to their units as of Monday evening. The analysts put the number of regular troopers in the North African nation at 73,000.

(U.S. Navy sources in Washington scoffed at the report of Israeli aircraft aboard a U.S. carrier and said that even Israel’s most modern warplanes, like the U.S. made F-15s, are not equipped for carrier operations.

(The carrier Coral Sea heads a seven-ship task force that left Naples, Italy, Friday, and the Navy sources said the vessels were on a routine training exercise west of Sardinia in the northwestern Mediterranean and nowhere near the Libyan coast.)

JANA also reported Monday that a Libyan newspaper, Green March, said Palestinians have the right to ″throw the Zionists ... in blazing hell.″

Green March is published by the People’s Revolutionary Committee, which is part of Libya’s governing apparatus.

Neither Green March nor JANA referred to the terrorist attacks Dec. 27 on passengers near El Al Israel Airlines check-in counters at the Rome and Vienna airports. The raids killed 19 people, including five Americans and four of the attackers, wounded about 120 people and led to the current Libyan-U.S. crisis.

The United States and Israel accused Libya of supporting the Palestinian faction that claimed responsibility for the attacks.

On Sunday, Khadafy told a news conference outside Tripoli, the Libyan capital, that Reagan ″became an Israeli dog,″ according to the complete Arabic text of Khadafy’s remarks.

The text, carried by JANA on Monday and monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus, quoted Khadafy as saying:

″Reagan discredited America because he became an Israeli dog, and it is not good for the president of America to become an Israeli dog. What happened at the Rome and Vienna airports is against Israel. Why did the Americans interfere to threaten us?

″Did Reagan consider himself an Israeli dog? This is not good for the American people and the American president, for Israel has many dogs lesser than Reagan.″

Calling someone a dog is considered one of the worst possible insults by Arab Moslems.

The reference was not included in a French-language text released earlier by JANA.

Khadafy also said Libya was on full alert and on the verge of war after U.S. 6th Fleet warships moved out into the Mediterranean. He said if America attacked Libya he would send suicide squads to strike American cities.

Green March said that Palestinians were carrying out ″sacred retaliatory operations for what the racist Zionists have committed,″ JANA reported.

″What the Palestinians have done represents a reprisal for what the Zionist aircraft did in Tunis when they slaughtered tens of Palestinians there.″

JANA previously called the airport attacks ″heroic″ actions by Palestinians. Italian and Austrian prosecutors said they believe the terrorists were out to avenge Israel’s Oct. 1 bombing of Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia, which killed more than 60 people.

Green March was quoted as saying the Palestinian people have ″a right to rebel and reply and wreak revenge and throw the Zionists wherever they might be now in blazing hell, for it is they who have driven and compelled ... (the Palestinians) to wage legitimate guerrilla field operations described unfairly as terroristic, irresponsible and anti-internation al.″

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In Washington, the Reagan administration said Monday it is on guard against threatened Libyan suicide squads in the United States and expressed belief that European allies are more likely now to help isolate Libya economically.

Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes also called ″patently untrue″ a Khadafy assertion that no terrorist training camps exist in Libya and said, ″We have firm evidence of training camps in Libya that train terrorists.″

Borba, a state-run newspaper in Yugoslavia, questioned on Monday the veracity of American statements that U.S. naval movements in the Mediterranean were routine.

Non-aligned communist Yugoslavia denounces terrorism but supports the PLO- led fight against Israel.

Yugoslavia officially denounced the Vienna and Rome attacks.

A Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday in Bern that neutral Switzerland will not join in any sanctions against Libya.

Also in Bern, Swiss authorities reiterated Monday they have no evidence Switzerland was an operations base for the airport attacks.

Italian press reports have quoted investigators as saying the attackers were trained in Iran and traveled from Lebanon to Switzerland before the attacks.

The independent Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unidentified Arab diplomatic sources, said Monday that the Soviet Union has committed itself to defend Libya in event of a sea blockade by the United States.

It said Moscow told Washington that Soviet merchant ships would keep sailing to Libyan ports with warship escorts in the event of a U.S. sea blockade.

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