Syria marked the sixth anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war on Saturday (6 October) with a public holiday, but the celebration were low key.
GV INTERIOR Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Halibi speaking at meeting
SV PAN From portrait of President hafiz Al-Assad to delegates listening to speech
GV People listening to speech
CU PAN From Prime Minister speaking to people applauding
GTV EXTERIOR Crowds carrying banners through streets of Damascus
SV Band heads parade
SV Crowds in procession along street chanting and carrying banners (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Syria marked the sixth anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war on Saturday (6 October) with a public holiday, but the celebration were low key. In contrast to Egypt which commemorated the occasion with a major military parade. Syria limited its official celebrations to a Socialist Party rally.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was held in Damascus University and addressed by many party leaders including Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Halibi. But the anniversary of the October Arab-Israeli war was not feted as a joyous occasion. Syria is now directly opposed to Egypt, its former ally, and the former United Arab Front is now in disarray. Many of the speeches at the rally highlighted Syria's patriotic role in the war and its steadfastness in the face of so-called 'conspiracies against the Arab nation.'
The students however, marked the anniversary their own way. Marching through the streets of Damascus on Sunday (7 October) carrying Syrian and Palestinian flags, they called for a Palestinian state and praised Syrian President Hafiz Al-Assad for his efforts towards the Arab Cause. Egypt though was condemned as a traitor for having singed a peace treaty with Israel.
President hafiz Al-Assad, however, did not make an appearance over the weekend. He has recently ben involved in the situation in southern Lebanon and in trying to prevent his own country from disintegrating into a similar civil war following sectarian fighting. It is also believed that President Assad will soon move to completely reshuffle his government.