Syria violence continues as Annan prepares to brief U.N. [video]
As Kofi Annan prepared on Monday to brief the United Nations Security Council on the progress of his Syria peace plan, reports of violence and shelling continued to stream from the embattled country.
The Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists, said at least 47 people were killed Monday, including four children. Dissidents said the Homs neighborhood of Deir Baalba was shelled and that regime forces burned more than 20 homes in the southern town of Dael.
Opposition activists also said that the city of Rastan was being shelled. The amateur video above, uploaded to YouTube on Monday, purports to show a house in Rastan after it was struck by a shell.
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said government authorities had foiled an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate the country from Turkey, killing one of the infiltrators. While the rebels argue that they are freedom fighters, the Syrian government frequently refers to them as terrorists.
The clashes and bloodshed have continued despite President Bashar Assad's agreement last week to a six-point peace plan brokered by Annan, which includes a ceasefire. Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general now serving as a special envoy to Syria, has been trying to bring an end to the conflict that has raged for more than a year as rebels try to throw off the Assad regime.
Annan's peace plan also calls for unfettered access for journalists to Syria. Because media access in Syria is limited, amateur videos like the one above have become an important window into the country. However, The Times cannot verify the exact incidents shown, nor the opposition and government statements about violence.
Here are six more purported glimpses of what's happening in Syria on Monday, as seen through amateur video:
This video, uploaded by opposition activists, purports to show shelling in the central city of Homs on Monday. Sounds of shelling are heard in the video and thick black smoke is seen billowing up to the sky.
"Look at the effects of the shelling on the neighborhood," says the cameraman as the camera passes what appears to be a damaged building. "The neighborhood has been completely destroyed ... they ruined the neighborhood."
The above video, uploaded Monday, purports to show an attempt by the rebel Free Syrian Army to "liberate the national hospital." Gunfire is heard and black smoke is seen rising from a building.
The video above claims to show random gunfire in the village of Hass in Idlib on Monday. "Random shelling from the Assad militias on the houses of residents," says the cameraman.
The above clip, uploaded by opposition activists, is said to show a clash between rebels and regime forces around the village of Khirbet al-Jouz in Jisr Shoghor on the Syrian border with Turkey. The clip appears to have been filmed from atop a hill or a mountain. Heavy gunfire can be heard.
Tanks with Syrian flags fluttering from their roofs roll by in the village of Kafar Nabouda outside Hama on Monday, according to this clip uploaded by opposition activists.
This clip purports to show a demonstration against Assad at Aleppo University. Young demonstrators are seen rushing up to join the protest as the rally kicks off with cheers and ululations.
-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles