Dec. 31 - Amateur video purports to show Syrian security forces making armed arrests as protests continue and Arab League observers patrol the country. Katharine Jackson reports.
A man kneels with his hands behind his head. Uniformed men approach with guns drawn. The man is kicked and pulled - along with another man - to a waiting vehicle. Obtained from a social media web site, the video purports to show Syrian forces making arrests in a suburb of Damascus that has become a flashpoint in the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The amateur video cannot be independently verified by Reuters. Syria bars most independent journalists. Another video - also obtained online - purports to show Arab League observers speaking with Syrian security forces in Homs. Protesters nearby wave the old Syrian revolutionary flag, a symbol of their defiance. Teams of Arab League observers arrived in Syria this week to monitor Assad's compliance with an agreement to withdraw the military and end the nine-month crackdown on anti-regime protests. Activists say they doubt the observers can accomplish their goal. The revolt is becoming increasingly bloody as armed rebels take the fight to security forces. The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since March. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.