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The War in October
The War in October: Ep1: The Crossing
The War in October: Ep2: The Heat of Battle
The War in October: Ep3: The Battle and Beyond

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The War in October

Forty years on, Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.

The first part of the series focuses on the build-up to the war and the role of an Egyptian double agent. It examines Egypt and Syria's lightning attack against an unprepared Israel as well as the Israeli response, the mobilisation of reserves and stabilisation of the Syrian thrust into the Golan Heights in a bloody tank battle in what became known as the 'Valley of Tears'.

And it looks at the failure of an Israeli counterattack in the Sinai and the Egyptian consolidation of bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal.

The second part of The October War investigates the Israeli counterattack on both fronts, pushing Syrian and supporting Arab forces back across the ceasefire line, and taking control of territory deep inside Syria and almost within reach of Damascus.

On the Suez front, Israeli forces under Ariel Sharon identify a gap in the Egyptian Canal defences, and after fierce fighting in The Battle of the Chinese Farm, they succeed in crossing the Canal to occupy positions in Egypt, behind the Egyptian front line. Meanwhile differences emerge in the Arabs' war aims, as Syria looks to conquest, while Egypt seeks only to jump-start peace talks.

The final part Stalemate at the battlefront brings the threat of involvement by the two global superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union. For a full 24 hours the world stands on the brink of nuclear confrontation. Kissinger brokers a UN monitored peace deal, but turns a blind eye to an Israeli land grab.

Arab oil-producing nations turn the screw on Western supporters of Israel by cutting production. Finally a ceasefire is agreed which paves the way for the eventual return of Sinai to Egypt. But the Arab-Israeli conflict continues to this day.

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