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Syria: Videos Document a Sharply Escalating Conflict

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.

An attack on Wednesday in the Syrian capital Damascus, killed President Bashar Al Assad's key security aides, marking an important escalation in the 16-month-old conflict between the Syrian regime and opposition forces. On Thursday, activists reported continuous fighting in neighborhoods encircling the capital Damascus. The same day, Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council's resolution that would have sanctioned the Syrian government for failing to implement an international peace plan.

News from Syria set social media ablaze. Videos uploaded by activists on YouTube allowed viewers to follow key stages of a sharply escalating conflict.

Shortly after the Damascus bombing, reports of mortar shelling and air bombing of neighborhoods throughout the city started coming in. Some of them were caught on video, like the following one posted by msyria91:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzPk0GAdR7k&feature=player_embedded

Later on Wednesday activists reported that the Syrian military deployed tanks in Damascus. Helicopters hovered over head as the first mourners started venturing into the streets, as captured by the following video, posted by marrywayne:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ykGov2OLs&feature=player_embedded

marrywayne also posted the following video, purportedly showing villagers celebrating the killing of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle strongmen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObKfPoFcZYQ&feature=player_embedded

Unverified news of mass murders in Damascus perpetrated by Assad's henchmen, the shabiha, surfaced later in the day on social media. Graphic videos (the link leads to a video that is graphic in nature — viewer discretion is advised) showing the purported victims soon appeared on YouTube.

Other videos, like the following, posted by Moviestrailersclips, shows the aftermath of the shelling of Midan neighborhood in Damascus by government forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3jyU0AerCs&feature=player_embedded

Mortar shelling of the Midan neighborhoods and heavy gunfire continued overnight as shown in the following video posted by MidanRevolution:

On Thursday, opposition activist reported continued fighting in the southern district of Damascus. Soon news of food shortages emerged. The following video, posted by jamalworkmail claims to show residents of Damascus queuing up for bread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTat7DLCL24&feature=player_embedded

Later on Thursday, the situation seemed to evolve quickly. One video posted by libyanproud, claims to show opposition forces controlling one crossing gate on the Syrian-Iraqi border:

The news was later confirmed by an Iraqi official who told AFP on Thursday that Syrian rebels took control of all border crossings between Iraq and Syria.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.

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