In a troubling sign of the continuing violence in Syria despite a United Nations peace plan, a new video posted online by Syrian dissidents purports to show United Nations vehicles idling next to a decaying body.
The video, purportedly made Wednesday in the embattled city of Homs, appears to show a corpse lying face down on a muddy road next to two white U.N. SUVs. Sounds like gunshots ring out nearby. (Warning: The video is graphic.) The Times could not confirm the events shown.
Another amateur video posted on YouTube, shown above, is said to show U.N. monitors and their vehicles in the same neighborhood Wednesday, parked near a badly damaged building. Someone behind the camera says that the U.N. team is witnessing the destruction in the area.
The U.N. monitors have been sent to watch over a peace plan that has so far failed to stop the killings in Syria, where an uprising against President Bashar Assad has raged more than a year. The six-point plan included halting the shooting, starting political talks and allowing demonstrations.
“They help build calm,” U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told reporters Tuesday in New York. Calm would help the political process, “and that process in turn, we hope, will bring lasting peace to a democratic Syria,” Ladsous said.
Yet the ongoing carnage despite the presence of U.N. monitors -- in some reported cases right in front of them -- has disillusioned Syrian dissidents and Western leaders who say the plan is failing.
Opposition activists said at least 30 people were killed Wednesday. State media reported that three Syrian officers were killed by terrorists, its usual term for the armed rebels, in Dara and Dair Alzour.
In another amateur video seen below, men wielding guns are seen gathered on a street. One picks up his weapon and fires it. No protesters can be seen in the video, but activists say the clip shows regime troops dispersing a protest with live bullets Wednesday in the Tadam district of Damascus:
-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles