July 20 - Three of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's senior security officials are farewelled at a lavish funeral ceremony in Damascus. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A funeral ceremony was held on Friday for three of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's senior security officials who were killed in a bomb attack, Syrian state television said, without mentioning whether the president attended. The attack on a meeting of Assad's inner circle on Wednesday killed his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, Defense Minister Daoud Rajha and veteran army general Hassan Turkmani. Al-Manar television, owned by the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah which is a close ally of the Syrian government, said the president's younger brother, Maher, attended the joint ceremony for the men. But official pictures released by the Syrian news agency did not show Maher among the mourners. The funeral was held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Mount Qasioun, overlooking the capital. Assad has made only one appearance since the attack, adding to the sense of a challenge to his authority. On Thursday he was shown on television swearing in a new defense minister to replace Rajha.