Video: Insurgents Capture Anti-Tank Missiles, Eastern Ghouta
Regime forces on Sunday continue to strike back against an insurgent offensive in the coastal mountains of Lattakia Province in Western Syria, with airstrikes and tank shelling of insurgent positions in several insurgent-held villages.
Footage from Sunday shows a regime tank and artillery strike on Al-Kawm, near Salma (see screenshot of map).
Activists reported that that the regime is targeting villages liberated by the Free Syrian Army including in the area around Salma area, and that there are intense clashes between FSA fighters and regime forces in the Jabal Al Alkrad area, just northeast of Salma.
Screenshot of Wikimapia map showing location of Al Kawm and Salma:
On Saturday, regime warplanes launched an airstrike against the mountain village of Salma:
Smoke rising up from Salma after the strike:
Initial footage of the strike:
Footage of insurgents in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus countryside, with a claimed captured cache of 9m113m Konkurs anti-tank rockets.
The Tawhid Brigade sends reinforcements to try and hold back the regime effort to take all of Homs:
Alongside footage of Sunday’s fighting and artillery strikes in Deir Ez Zor — as regime forces try to pressurize insurgents to give way in districts captured on Saturday — there are also videos of captured regime forces.
This footage from Sunday shows three men named as ‘shabiha’ — regime militia — who are questioned as they sit tied on the floor:
Footage shows a group of insurgents in a car, with a captured regime fighter, who they say they are taking to be detained:
Fierce clashes continued in Deir Ez Zor on Sunday, including in the Al Hawiqah district, which was captured by FSA forces on Saturday. Activists report that the regime is targeting the district with heavy artillery. This video, from Sunday, shows a strike in the district:
Footage from Saturday shows young activists helping families with children and older people cross at the tense and dangerous Hijaz Garage checkpoint in Bustan al Qasr, Aleppo. It is the only crossing point between regime- and insurgent-controlled areas of the city and thousands of people must use it every day, fearing attacks by regime snipers.
Footage posted on Saturday claims to show insurgents from the FSA with a captured regime weapons cache in Raqqa city:
State news agency SANA, which frequently features ‘all is well’ stories in an attempt to show that the regime is firmly in control of the situation, surpasses itself on Sunday with a report of a mass wedding of regime soldiers in Lattakia Province “amid official presence”.
SANA offers this helpful explanation: “Member of the Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party, Khalaf al-Muftah, stressed that this ceremony is an expression of appreciation for the heroism of the Syrian brave soldiers who are confronting the armed terrorist groups and restoring security and stability to the homeland.”
There was no comments from the 15 women involved in the ceremony, so we do not know their thoughts on the event — but SANA does leave us with this note from the 15 soldiers:
The grooms expressed their happiness over this wedding ceremony in which all people of the province took part, particularly under the current circumstances going on in Syria.
SANA includes this photograph of a woman, presumably a Baath Party supporter or official, expressing patriotic joy:
Although the regime made much of its claimed victory in Homs, it still has not managed to complete its operation to reclaim all of the city, despite over two months of offensive against insurgent positions. On Sunday, activists report that regime shelling has intensified, as this footage of a rising cloud of smoke from an attack on Sunday morning testifies:
State news agency SANA reported that regime forces had “destroyed dens and gatherings of terrorists in Homs city and countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon them in a series of qualitative operations.”
Regime forces struck back against insurgent-held areas of Deir Ez Zor on Sunday, after footage on Saturday showed insurgents attacking regime positions and celebrating victories, notably inside the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party.
Regime tanks strike Deir Ez Zor:
It is unclear if Saturday’s insurgent gains means the insurgency has increased its hold over Syria’s seventh-largest city or whether this was just a show of force, with fighters pulling back to the months-long pattern of siege and attacks. So far, Raqqa in the north — Syria’s sixth-largest city — is the largest area that has been claimed in the long-term by the opposition.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 110 people were killed on Saturday, including 33 in Idlib Province, 23 in Aleppo Province, 15 in Damascus and its suburbs, 13 in Raqqa Province, and 11 in Deir Ez Zor Province.
The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 69,149 since the start of the conflict, a rise of 98 since Saturday. Of these, 52,319 are civilians, an increase of 53 from yesterday.