While internet services might have been restored, Syria’s international airports in Damascus and Aleppo remain closed as battles throughout the country intensify. Meanwhile, political opposition groups seem close to forming a transitional government, but the divide with rebels continues to grow. In short, the sum total of our collective follies in Syria still favors chaos and continued bloodshed at this stage.
In this video from Ras Al-Ain, the Kurdish majority town captured by Jihadis from Jabhat Al-Nusrah two weeks ago, we see loyalist soldiers caught by the Jihadis pleading for their lives, asserting that they are Sunnis. One claims to be a Sunni from Daraa. But the Jihadis keep ignoring their pleas. At one point they shoot the arm of one of the most insistent interlocutors, the shooting takes place when the interlocutor conveniently goes off-camera, then returns with what appears to be blood on his arm and falls to the ground. Eventually, one of the Jihadis seem to be executing all prisoners even as they lie on the ground asserting that they are Sunnis and chanting “God bless the Free Syrian Army.” As the Jihadis were preparing to leave, one of them says: “you should have known you were messing with Al-Qaeda, with Jabhat Al-Nusra.” This gratuitous signature statement volunteered at the end, among other inconsistencies, threw doubts on the clip in the minds of many of the activists who reviewed it. Another problematic feature is the fact that the assertive interlocutor to whom we alluded above seems to have sprung back to life near the end (3:57) and is “shot” again repeatedly, but doesn’t seem to die. There is no blood anywhere coming out of the bodies after being shot. Jabhat Al-Nusrah has a deservedly bad reputation among activists and its affiliation with Al-Qaeda is known, but activists refused to be fooled and many believe this video to be a fabrication, awaiting the opinion of experts http://youtu.be/ubLVetmxJug
This video, on the other hand, is genuine. It shows a couple of rebels roughing up a pro-Assad colonel whom they arrested. He, too, is shouting “God bless the Free Syrian Army,” to no avail http://youtu.be/qPOgFOe7vF4
Iran’s Al-Alam TV wanted to document the conditions along the highway leading Damascus International Airport: traffic is down to a trickle and at 1:30 we can hear the sounds of heavy artillery in the background. We are also shown a checkpoint manned by loyalist militias http://youtu.be/mp-Z7AzQqUw
Reports from the ground indicate that rebels control around 20 military bases around Damascus, and a 20 KM stretch of the highway leading to DIA. The fighting around the airport is said to have intensified forcing a total blackout in the areas, even as power and internet services seem to have been restored elsewhere.
The ensuing aerial bombardment left many dead in Dhiayabiyeh http://youtu.be/lPGiOU1SmTA Including children http://youtu.be/TGovH3xbaH0
An old woman in Lattakia explains how the local church was destroyed during shelling by pro-Assad militias as she curses Bashar Al-Assad http://youtu.be/1u7MbBVi-vw
Locals in Binnish, Idlib chants slogans against the “secular” Syrian National Council and National Coalitions and demand the establishment of a Caliphate http://youtu.be/PN7o2b2c0Ag
In Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, rebels bring down a MiG http://youtu.be/P3zAD6nNU9Q
Aerial bombardment leaves many dead in Sfeireh, Aleppo http://youtu.be/2ZyHqRlsNPA , http://youtu.be/Ak29SiqOEc0
In Aleppo City, rebels firing improvised bombs at a checkpoint manned by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/OkzdtB7ngQY Pulling bodies from under the rubble in Al-Ansari http://youtu.be/ZLjKH2SHz70