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SYRIA: Video footage claims to show army defections, conditions of displaced families and continued protests

June 14, 2011 |  2:13 pm

Amateur video footage continues to emerge from the chaos and violence in Syria despite the Syrian authorities' attempts to impose an information blackout on protest-stricken and violence-hit areas across the country.

Media reports and activist accounts said Tuesday that Syrian troops were headed toward the northern protest town of Maarat Numaan on the Damascus-Aleppo highway and that tanks have been spotted in the town of Bokamal near the Syrian-Iraqi border, prompting concerns about a potential planned security operation there.

According to the activist network the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, military units have also entered Dair Alzour, where about 8,000 people had gathered outside the northeastern city's sports stadium Monday night to protest the army presence.

Meanwhile, footage from the town of Quriya in Dair Alzour province that  purports to show the desertion of Syrian soldiers adjoining demonstrators on Monday have been posted to the Internet.

In the clip above, crowds are heard chanting "the people and the army -- one hand" as what appears to be a military truck moves along a road. A man who appears to be wearing a uniform is seen standing in the vehicle with his hand raised in the air.

"June 13, defections of members of the army in the city of Quriya," explains a narrator amid cheers. "The people want the downfall of the regime -- the army wants the downfall of the regime," people shout.

Across the country in the areas around the besieged northern town of Jisr Shughur, displaced families recounted tales of horror and fear as they fled the violence with their loved ones. The clip below shows interviews, subtitled in English, with what it said are displaced families in Jisr Shughur on Sunday.

"What are we doing here?" asks a veiled woman holding a young child. "Our children are homeless ... they killed my young cousin in the middle of the road."

Another elderly woman standing next to the woman cries out, "We're hungry, thirsty, exhausted!"

Keen to push its version of events as the violence and death toll mount, Syrian government media have  issued reports that claim the army was greeted by residents throwing rice and flowers to  them as they entered a village near Jisr Shughur.

In the Damascus suburb of Qaboon, however, demonstrators do not appear keen on the army entering the area, at least  according to the clip below. In the video, said to have been shot on Sunday, demonstrators are seen denouncing state-run Syrian media and protesting against the army entering their area.

"We, the people of Qaboon refuse that the army enters our area," a man reads out from a statement. "We refuse that the army enters our area. They fabricated videos, they bring hired people who say that Qaboon inhabitants ask the regime to dispatch the army into Qaboon. These are all lies."

 

Meanwhile, protests continue to take place amid the crackdown on antigovernment demonstrators. In the central city of Hama, hundreds of lawyers, doctors, and engineers took to the streets on Tuesday to protest and demand democracy and equality, according to the clip posted below.

In the video below, people said to be residents of Jisr Shughur are seen calling for the downfall of the regime on Monday in an area along the Syrian-Turkish border.

 

 -- Los Angeles Times

Video credits: YouTube

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