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SYRIA: Assad's security forces increasingly violent [Video]

August 8, 2011 |  8:17 am

The camera zooms in on a group of men, walking hand-in-hand to negotiate with the soldiers, black armed figures. The sound of crackling gunfire makes the demonstrators stampede back to safety. What looks like a herd of helpless people run for their lives, and many are shown to be shot down. One man in white drops to the ground before his listless corpse is carried away by two other protesters.

Syrian security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad continue to step up their clampdown on peaceful anti-regime protesters, video shows. A crackdown in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Sunni tribal area of Dair Alzour and the historically restive city of Hama have left many dead and reduced whole neighborhoods to rubble. 

In the above video, hundreds of mourners, some chanting "God is great," are dispersed with direct gunfire. The protesters run for cover. Many refuse to hide, only to be pushed out of danger by their friends. The mourners then bravely regroup, whistling defiantly and jumping in the air waving their hands above their heads, almost to get the attention of the assailants. 

Syria-aug-8One young man in white is not so lucky. He falls to the ground as dark figures swam him and take him away.

Video footage uploaded recently captures vandalism and destruction apparently perpetrated by Assad's security forces. The video below, taken on Sunday, tells the story of one particular home that belonged to a family of six, a man, his wife, and their four children in the city of Hama. The man behind the camera tells of how the home was looted before it was completely destroyed by tank rockets and set ablaze. None of the family members died, but most of them were severely injured. 

"God is great oh Bashar," the cameraman says vengefully. "That is how the peaceful are pounded in Hama."

The video below, also taken on Sunday, shows another home in Hama that was broken into, looted and vandalized by what the narrator calls "Assad's militia." As the camera moves from room to room, objects are seen broken on the floor in a house of completely disarray. 


On the walls of the house is a chilling message, apparently left by Assad's security forces.

"There is no God but Assad. There is no prophet but the Baath." 

Walls turned into rubble separate some parts of the house from others.

"God, now come down and put Assad in your place," the security forces write in red. 

-- Roula Hajjar in Beirut

Top video: Images said to show protesters being shot in Idlib. Credit: YouTube.

Second and third videos: Images said to show vandalism and destruction of homes in Hama. Credit: YouTube.

Photo: Image said to show protester captured and beaten by security forces in black. Credit: YouTube