With foreign journalists few on the ground in Syria, and as the conflict continues to engulf the country with events moving far too rapidly for traditional reporting to keep up, we rely heavily on the work of citizen journalists and media activists to understand and see at least small fragments of what is happening in Syria.
Although, as with any source, we need to understand and take into account the context in which activists’ reports are produced, they are an invaluable tool that enable us to see both the military and humanitarian aspects of the ongoing fighting.
Activists at the Shaam News Network have produced a series of English-subtitled videos documenting airstrikes and shelling on the first day of the Eid holiday, when Muslims celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
This video, filmed on August 8, shows how the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in al Tabqa manned anti-aircraft guns in preparation for an expected increase in regime attacks on the first day of Eid:
This short yet moving video shows an elderly man standing in the ruins of his home in Sahm Golan township, after a regime attack destroyed his home.
He says: “Bashar al Assad has killed everything that was alive”.
This short, 32 second video from Daraa city shows regime airstrikes on the first day of Eid:
Here, a citizen journalist documents the aftermath of a shelling on a home in Teir Maaleh village in Homs Province, also on the first day of Eid. The shell has destroyed the home, and everything in it: