After repulsing Syrian counter-attacks, the Israelis were today (Wednesday, October 10) claiming complete control of the Golan Heights.
After repulsing Syrian counter-attacks, the Israelis were today (Wednesday, October 10) claiming complete control of the Golan Heights. Film from the area -- all shot from the Israeli side -- showed the Israelis keeping up a heavy ground and air bombardment of Syrian positions, while moving up strong reinforcements of armour.
Tanks, armoured cars, trucks and infantry were racing up the road towards the Heights following news that Iraq was reportedly moving troops and armour towards the front. These reports indicated that between 16,000 and 18,000 Iraqi troops and as many as 100 tanks had crossed Syria on their way to the Heights.
The air war also continued fiercely. Israel announced more strikes inside Syria, and a second sortie over Damascus itself, which had been bombed the previous day causing heavy casualties. This time the target was the airport outside the capital. Syria claimed shooting down a total of 43 Israeli aircraft on Wednesday. This means that according to the Syrian tally, 144 Israeli aircraft had been shot down since the war erupted last weekend -- well over a quarter of Israel's air combat strength.
The second half of this compilation concentrates on the major tank battle that raged around Kuneitra on Tuesday. Kuneitra, once the biggest town on the Golan, has become the focus for Syrian operations.
SYNOPSIS: The road into the Golan Heights, scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the 1967 Middle East War, is now littered with a new generation of wrecked tanks an armour.
Israeli Phantom jets roar overhead in an unending series of missions to give their troops support. And by the end of Wednesday, when this film was shot, the Israelis were claiming they had won back complete control of the Golan Heights, and were chasing the Syrians inside their own territory. Prime Minister Mrs. Golda Meir went on television to declare that Israel was now on the offensive on all fronts.
Throughout the previous night, there had been reports of artillery duels and Syrian counter-attacks, which the Israeli officially claimed to have repulsed.
Israeli warplanes flew missions here and beyond against targets in Syria itself. For the second day running Damascus was attacked. But the Syrians again claimed to have taken a heavy toll of the attacking aircraft. On Wednesday alone, they reported forty-three warplanes shot down. This brought their total tally in five days of conflict to a hundred and forty-four aircraft shot down -- over a quarter of Israel's total combat aircraft. Meantime, up to eighteen-thousand Iraqi troops and a hundred tanks were reported crossing Syria for the Golan Heights. The previous day, Tuesday, a major tank battle raged round Kuneitra, once the chief town of the Golan. An on-the-spot report: