890d.00/193: Telegram

The Consul at Beirut ( Knabenshue ) to the Secretary of State


Department’s telegram of August 10, noon. It is not necessary or advisable to have American destroyers sent here at present. The only American citizens now in the affected region are naturalized citizens of Syrian origin who are living in their native villages. Order is being maintained in Damascus by reenforced police and troops. So far the rest of the country is quiet.

According to late information which is thought to be reliable, 5,000 French troops and a somewhat larger number of Druses were engaged in the battle of August 3. The French casualties are given as 1,200 and the Druses’ 2,500, the latter resulting from sacrifices in a successful movement to lure the main body of French troops into an ambush. There is a rumor that since that battle the Druses have taken Souada with the besieged French garrison of about 400 soldiers. No further action is reported, the Druses for the moment remaining on the defensive and the French entrenching 6 miles south of Damascus and Kiswe. The French are awaiting reenforcements, of whom several hundred have since arrived.