Syria celebrated 19 years of rule by the Socialits Ba'ath Party on Monday (8 March).
1. GV Military hospital in Damascus 0.03
2. GV President Assad cutting tape to open hospital 0.09
3. SV Assad unveiling plaque 0.20
4. SV Assad with generals looking around hospital (2 shots) 0.41
5. SV Assad in operating theatre looking at equipment (2 shots) 1.02
6. SV Assad looking at other equipment (4 shots) 1.29
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Background: DAMASCUS, SYRIA
Syria celebrated 19 years of rule by the Socialits Ba'ath Party on Monday (8 March). Public offices were closed and the main streets decorated with flags and portraits of President Assad. The Syrian leader attended ceremonies in Damascus and opened a new military hospital. Described as the most modern in the Middle East, the hospital is equipped with laser equipment, a modern surgical theatre, and cardiographic instruments. The hospital is part of development programme made possible by a rise in gross national product, which according to the government, has increased by 20 per cent over the last year. President Assad's power in the country is said to be based on the army along with the ruling Alawite minority.Only lat month, armed forces successfully crushed an uprising in the town of Hama carried out by fundamentalist Moslem opponents.
Source: REUTERS - MARWAN MAKDESI