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Anti-Assad graffiti, girls protesting and other glimpses of Syria [Video]

March 1, 2012 | 11:02 am

Short on water, Syrians in the embattled city of Homs bring pots and pans out to catch falling snow, according to this video uploaded to YouTube by opposition activists Thursday.

The cameraman says Syrian government troops turned off the water in the neighborhood, "but despite all that, we are continuing our struggle against this regime to get freedom."

Syria is in the throes of a nearly yearlong uprising against President Bashar Assad. The United Nations estimates more than 7,500 people have died in the conflict.

The government often says that amateur videos showing gory injuries and dead children are staged. But with authorities limiting access for journalists in the country, the raw video footage posted on YouTube has become a powerful testimony on what life is like in Syria as the violence rages on.

Here are other glimpses of Syria under fire, as seen through videos posted online. Because media access is restricted, The Times cannot verify many of the events shown in these videos.

A small group of opposition demonstrators braved the snow and cold weather on Thursday and took the streets In the town of Harah in the Dara province, according to this clip uploaded by activists.

A graffiti painter, his face hooded in the colors of the pre-Baath Syrian flag, sprays "Down with Assad" on a street wall in the Damascus suburb of Barze. When he finishes, he flashes the "V" sign. The video was uploaded Thursday by Syrian opposition activists.

This video purports to show an Alawite army colonel announcing his defection from the Syrian government troops and joining the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group.

The claim that the colonel is an Alawite is especially striking. The Assad regime has often played on fears that if Bashar Assad, an Alawite, is toppled, the small religious sect will be persecuted by other Muslims.

Snow fell on the town of Dumeir near Damascus as troops entered the city Wednesday, according to these two clips uploaded by opposition activists. In the first clip, the cameraman says that two green buses seen in the video were used to transport "Assad gangs" into the town.

This video purports to show a protest breaking out in a girls' school in the city of Deir Alzour. As a man holds a Syrian pre-Baath flag from a wall above, the cameraman says the girls are chanting in support of Homs, a city that has been at the epicenter of the uprising.


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Jordanian blogger stabbed after post that criticized royal family

What does it mean to be Alawite, and why does it matter in Syria?

-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles and Alexandra Sandels in Beirut