Tributes were paid to Syrian martyrs in a commemorative service in a cemetery near Damascus on Tuesday (6 May).
SV President Assad (right) with Defence Minster Tlas saluting
TRACKING SHOT Honour guard and band
CU Eternal flame
SV AND CU Assad lays wreath (3 shots)
SV Assad and officials praying
SV People surge forward to surround Assad
Initials CL/1737 CL/1750
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Background: Tributes were paid to Syrian martyrs in a commemorative service in a cemetery near Damascus on Tuesday (6 May). Martyrs' Day has become an annual day of remembrance but this year concentrated on the Syrians who did during the October War of 1973 against Israel.
Crowds of mourners watched as President Hafez Al-Assad, with government leaders, including Defence Minister Tlas, entered the cemetery. The President later laid a wreath at a monument to the martyrs and inspected a guard of honour
Martyrs' Day began 61 years ago to commemorate the hanging of Syrian resistance leaders during the Turkish occupation in 1914. Since then it has been extended to pay tribute to those whom President Assad says "sacrificed their lives in defence of the homeland's freedom and dignity" from the time of independence to the October War.
The President lit a traditional commemorative torch as drums and trumpets sounded. He later inaugurated a school for the children of the October War martyrs. He affirmed in a speech that Syria would look after these children in their Arab homeland and provide them with assistance.