10 Mar 2013

Syrian army tank footage shows ‘soldier’s eye view’

New footage, said to be from a Syrian government tank, shows the desolation in Damascus, as the country’s refugee crisis worsens and the government targets rebel-held Raqqa.

The footage, shot by Russian news agency the Abkhazian Network News Agency (ANNA), purports to show a government tank patrolling the streets of Darya, Damascus.

ANNA appears to take a pro-Assad line, with the agency refering to rebels on its website as “terrorists”.

The Syrian government has been fighting rebels since pro-democracy uprisings began in the country as a part of the Arab Spring two years ago.

Refugee crisis

Last month the UN estimated that 70,000 have died in the war, and the conflict has also led to a refugee crisis with more than one million Syrian citizens having now fled outside the country.

On Sunday the UN said by the end of 2013, the number of refugees could be between two and three million. Most refugees have crossed borders into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Watch the Horror in Homs - footage from the Syrian streets shot by award-winning photo-journalist Mani.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday that at least 14 people have been killed in government airstrikes on the northern Syria city of Raqqa.


A video posted online from Raqqa city showed the dead bodies of seven people scattered in a street with destroyed buildings nearby. An off-camera narrator says they were killed in an airstrike.

The Observatory said at least seven others were killed in a separate air attack near the province’s eastern border.

Raqqa is the first of Syrian’s provincial capitals to fall completely under rebel control – but rebel actions in the city have raised concerns over the brutality of the controlling groups.

Videos posted online have shown government workers and troops lying dead in the streets, gun shot wounds in their heads. One video shows three bodies who it is claimed were executed for being “dogs of military intelligence”.

Rights groups have reported summary executions of regime officials and troops following the capture of other areas.

On Wednesday the British government announced the UK would supply armoured vehicles to the Syrian opposition in a move intended to end a crisis which as reached “catastrophic proportions”.

The Syrian National Coalition, the coalition of opposition forces which is supported by a number of countries including the US, UK and France, has also postponed a meeting to form a provisional government.

The meeting, part of the process to create an administration to take over if President Bashar al-Assad is ousted, was due to take place on Tuesday. It has been postponed until March 20.