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SYRIA: Chaos erupts on streets of Aleppo [Video]

August 12, 2011 |  7:56 am

Chaos was reported on the streets of Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, during another day of intense confrontations between security forces and anti-government protesters.

Some have speculated that the city's residents have been reluctant to take to the streets because they've developed too cozy a relationship with the regime of President Bashar Assad.

But new video posted to the Internet suggests another possible rationale: that unlike in Hama, Dair Alzour or Homs -- where the regime allowed protesters to congregate before moving in and opening fire, killing many -- security forces are brooking no dissent in Aleppo.

In the videos above and below, young men can be seen running through a poor district of the city as gunfire is heard in the distance.

There were also reports and video footage of protests in villages just outside of the cities. 

The largest demonstrations Friday, including a big march in the town of Harasta, appeared to be in the suburbs of Damascus, which have been the scenes of near-daily clashes and nightly protests, as well as in the coastal city of Lattakia, where protesters unfurled a huge flag.

There were also protests in Jibleh, which like Lattakia is on the religiously mixed coastline that could serve as a weather vane for the country's future social cohesion. 

Video also showed what was said to be large demonstrations in Qamishli, the heart of Syria's Kurdish ethnic minority.

Many of the protests appear to have gone off peacefully, but Syrian security forces seem determined not to let large protests erupt in the country's five largest cities, including the besieged city of Homs.

-- Los Angeles Times

Video credit: YouTube