151. President's Daily Brief1

Arab States-Israel

Hostilities began early this morning. Both sides report heavy fighting in the air and between armored forces along the Israeli border with Egypt. Israeli planes raided airfields in Cairo and other areas beginning at about 8:00 AM local time (2:00 AM Washington time).

Cairo has just been informed that at least five of its airfields in Sinai and the Canal area have suddenly become “unserviceable.” Israel's war plans had put high priority on quick action against the Egyptian Air Force because of the threat to its own more vulnerable airfields and vital centers.

Reports are still fragmentary, but the signs point to this as an Israeli initiative. Over the weekend it became apparent that Israeli leaders were becoming increasingly convinced that time was running against them. The new Israeli cabinet was meeting late yesterday with Ambassador Harmel present, and reconvened early today.

Cairo radio is calling on Egypt's Arab allies to attack Israel. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

2. Libya

The big US Wheelus base is becoming more and more exposed to nationalist pressures as the Arab war fever sweeps over this desert kingdom. Cairo is going all out to intensify the pressures, and responsible Libyans are worried; they see no way they can convincingly refute the propaganda that the base is being used to support the Israelis.

The Libyan foreign minister has been in Cairo this weekend, and Wheelus surely must have been discussed during his talks with Nasir.

3. Soviet Union

[1 paragraph (7 lines of source text) not declassified]

[1 paragraph (5–1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

[Omitted here is a section on an unrelated subject.]

[Page 295]

LATE ITEMS

Libya

The US Embassy in Benghazi flashed word at 4:30 AM EDT that it was being attacked by a large mob. It is burning its papers.

Syria

Damascus radio announces that Syrian planes are bombing Israeli cities and that “we have joined the battle.”

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 6, Appendix A. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]. This information, which has been excerpted from a Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”), was improperly declassified and released. The declassification and release of this information in no way impacts or controls the declassification status of the remainder of this PDB, other PDBs, or the PDB as a series.