Bashar al-Assad prays at the 'Monument of the Unknown Soldier' to mark 37 years since Arab forces brought Israel to the brink of defeat with a surprise attack.
By Haaretz Service 06.10.10
Wednesday saw the 37th anniversary of the 1973 conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors and was marked with celebrations in Syria.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad prayed at the 'Monument of the Unknown Soldier to mark 37 years since what Arabs term the October War - known in Israel as the Yom Kippur War, after the Jewish holy day on which Egyptian and Syrian forces brought Israel to the brink of defeat with a surprise attack.
Israel ultimately emerged victorious after nearly three weeks of heavy fighting - but the event continues to resonate in the Arab world, where it was hailed as reverse of the calamitous defeat to Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.
Despite the eventual rout of Arab forces by Israeli troops, the conflict had far-reaching consequences for Israel's politics and military. An inquiry led to the resignation of Chief of Staff David Elazar and effectively brought down the government of prime minister. Golda Meir in 1974.
The resulting re-alignment of regional power also paved the way for a peace deal between Israel and Egypt, signed in 1979.
Unknown Soldier Monument, Dimashq -
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