On Wednesday, a video appeared on Facebook and YouTube of a Syrian soldier walking through Aleppo towards the dividing line beetween regime and rebel forces.

As a colleague greets children on the street, the soldier makes his appeal that Syrian forces are only defending the Aleppo civilians who have not been forced to flee by the “terrorists”. He makes no reference to the regime airstrikes that have caused some of the damage around him, blaming it all on rebel “gas canisters” and mortars:

The people they say that we want to kill — all we do is clean and secure the place so [the people] can come back and live in their homes. We don’t do the things that you say we’re doing. We’re the Syrian Arab Army.

Now someone will jump up and say, “You did this and that and destroyed.” But in a state of war, when terrorists base themselves in civilians’ houses, and when this spreads out of control, of course the population is going to flee. And then we, the army, are going to come in. And because of their snipers, the army is forced to move in with tanks….

The civilians that you’re seeing now who are walking about freely and safely, these civilians would have left their homes.

What more can we really do?….

Trying to harm the credibility of the Syrian Army is impossible. Your lies have been exposed.