Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad personally hoisted the Syrian flag over the ruined town of Kuneitra on Wednesday (June 26) to mark the end of seven years of Israeli occupation.
GV Convoy of buses and cars and crowds at Khan Arnabe
CU Crowded buses with banners
GV Crowded lorries, tractors and buses crossing fields towards Kuneitra
GV People walking into the wrecked city of Kuneitra
TGV UN trucks in Kuneitra
TVs Crowded buses and cars entering city (2 shots)
SV Syrians with flags
TGV Mass crowd gathered for flag raising ceremony
TV President Assad in military uniform accompanied by General Tlass surrounded by cheering crowds
TV Crowd clapping
TV President Assad raises the Syrian flag as people cheer and clap (2 shots)
CU Syrian flag flying ZOOM OUT TO crowds
GTV PAN OVER the city of Kuneitra
Initials OS/1946 OS/2005
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Background: Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad personally hoisted the Syrian flag over the ruined town of Kuneitra on Wednesday (June 26) to mark the end of seven years of Israeli occupation.
As large crowds of returning Syrian refugees cheered, President Assad told them: "No force on earth can prevent us from recovering our rights. We must continue to prepare to oust the enemy from our occupied Arab territory and I am optimistic over victory and the future".
Crowds of civilians came back to Kuneitra, the main town on the strategic Golan Heights after the Israelis left on Tuesday (June 25).
Israel handed over Kuneitra, Rafid Junction to the south, and positions on Mount Hermon at the northern end of the Golan Heights to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. The Syrian-Israeli agreement to separate their forces signed in Geneva on May 31 was thus completed on schedule.
The battered town of Kuneitra lies inside the buffer zone which separates the two armies. This zone will be patrolled by 1,250 lightly-armed U.N. troops and will be under the control of the Syrian civilian authorities.
About 170,000 Syrians fled their homes on the Golan Heights during the 1967 and 1973 wars.
SYNOPSIS: The Syrian President said the people's will could not be vanquished and that the homeland was above everything. Life can begin to return to normal in this battered town now the armies have been disengaged. But just west of Kuneitra the Israelis are preparing new defensive lines with deep anti-tank ditches, barbed wire and mine fields.