As fighting broke out for the 25th day running on the Golan Heights there was a mood of defiance in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday (5 April).
GV PAN around mosque
SV INTERIORS Arabs praying (2 shots)
GVs Arab entering and leaving mosque (3 shots) (taking shoes off)
Initials AE/20.46 AE/20.58
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Background: As fighting broke out for the 25th day running on the Golan Heights there was a mood of defiance in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday (5 April).
The Golan front is at least 25 miles south-west of Damascus. The fighting does not seem to affect life in the city, but even more people than usual attend the Friday prayers in the mosques. Many people rush out onto their balconies or pause in the crowded mosques when the noise of Syrian artillery fire carries into the city.
The Syrian people feel their war with Israel is far from over. One Syrian official said Syria was assuming the role North Vietnam played before the Indo-China ceasefire agreement, and Syria's Commander-in-Chief Major General Mustafa Tlas believes the Syrian forces are stronger now than they were before the October war.
The following day Israeli planes went into action against Syrian forces for the first time since the October war.
The Syrians say they will explore all diplomatic avenues that might lead to peace but a settlement must fulfil the basic Arab conditions of Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory and a guarantee of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.