Tow Western journalists -- Chicago Tribune correspondent Donald Kirk and Reuter correspondent Red Bridgland -- were deported form Syria on Saturday.
GV PAN Syrian Arab News Agency building (2 shots)
GV PAN Newsmen's cars and newsmen wait outside building. (3 shots)
SCU Officials and newsmen
SV PAN Newsmen into cars to be led to damaged area (2 shots)
GV Newsmen in damaged area.
GV PAN Newsmen film damage (4 shots)
Initials APSM/3.05 APSM/3.18
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Background: Tow Western journalists -- Chicago Tribune correspondent Donald Kirk and Reuter correspondent Red Bridgland -- were deported form Syria on Saturday.
The Syrian authorities accused them of contravening wartime security regulations by travelling outside Damascus without official authorisation.
The correspondents said they were not informed of the need for such authorisation. They were detained after travelling by car to the South of the Syrian capital in order to report on the Syrian front situation in the Middle East war.
They were escorted to the Lebanese border and expelled from Syria. Both were assigned to Damascus to cover the war about a week ago.
Newsmen say reporting from Damascus is subject to tight restrictions and censorship. It is the only sector in the war in which reporters have not been taken up to the battle front, and reporters say, it is impossible to verify the claims made in Syrian military communiques.
All despatches written by correspondent have to be submitted to government censors at the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). Only when they have been officially stamped and signed are they permitted to be sent out of the country.
About two hundred foreign newsmen are in Damascus to cover the Syrian front of the war. They have been taken on organised trips to hospitals and bomb damage sites. On Friday they were escorted to a which was bombed by the Israelis.
SYNOPSIS: Reports of the Middle East war coming out of Syria have been subject to tight restrictions by government censors at the Syrian Arab News Agency in Damascus. About two hundred foreign correspondents are in the city to cover the Syrian front. And on Saturday, two of them -- Chicago Tribune correspondent, Donald Kirk and Reuter correspondent fred Bridgland -- were deported after Syrian authorities accused them of contravening wartime. security regulations. They allegedly travelled outside Damascus without official authorisations.
The correspondents ware detained after travelling by car south of Damascus. They were expelled at the Lebanese border.
Newsmen say Syria is the only sector of the Middle East war in which reporters have not been taken up to the battle front, in order to verify the claims made in Syrian military communiques. Instead they have been taken on organised trips almost daily to hospitals and bomb damage sites.
On Friday foreign correspondents were driven to a petrol storage complex at Adrae, about thirty miles form Damascus. The site was bombed out by the Israelis about a week ago.
All film shot and all despatches written by foreign correspondents -- including reports of organised trips like this one -- have to be submitted to the Syrian censors before they can be sent out of the country.