In Iraq, the army has put on a military show of strength in celebrating the 58th anniversary of its founding.
GV Zoom Out President Al-Bakr takes salute as troops pass. (four shots)
SV Woman throws flower petals over passing troops.
GV Troops jog past
GV Women troops march past reviewing stand.
GV Armoured cars and missiles move past reviewing Stand. (two shots)
SCU President Al-Bakr saluting.
GV Tanks pass with guns dipped in salute. (two shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Iraq, the army has put on a military show of strength in celebrating the 58th anniversary of its founding.
SYNOPSIS: President Al-Bakr who is Commander in Chief of the armed forces took the salute at a parade to mark the occasion at the Muthana Airport on Saturday (6 January) Iraq has about three hundred and seventy-six thousand personnel in the armed forces with another three hundred thousand reported to be in the reserves. Representatives of all units of the armed forces took part in the parade It was also attended by dignitaries from neighbouring Arab states as well as representatives of diplomatic missions.
The military situation in the Middle East has been altered through the efforts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria. For more than ten years, the two countries were hostile, and countries in the area were surprised when in October last year the two neighbours came together and agreed to work towards full military union.
The military union would be seen by some observers as possibly a threat to Israel. Another aspect of the Iraqi-Syrian pact has been their supply of weapons, most of which come from the Soviet bloc. There were reports late last year that the Soviet Union was reconsidering the agreement whereby it supplied the two countries with arms. However, later reports from Baghdad said that Iraq had a strategic alliance with the Soviets.