Feb 22 - Videos uploaded to social media websites purportedly show hundreds of Syrian soldiers pledging to protect civilians from the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Simon Hanna reports.
Syrian soldiers vow to protect their nation, and the revolution. These are army defectors in Idlib who say they will defend their compatriots against the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Elsewhere in Idlib a similar scene, as yet another group of soldiers pledges to protect civilians rising up against four decades of autocratic Assad family rule. The government's crackdown on the insurgency has been intensifying. Activists say security forces killed at least 100 people on Tuesday in attacks on Homs and raids on villages and towns in Idlib, near Turkey. Homs has been the focus of the rebellion and has born the brunt of the violence. With most foreign journalists banned from Syria, videos like these from social media websites are often the only way that the outside world can view the turmoil. Washington, which is preparing a 'Friends of Syria' meeting of Western and Arab states opposing Assad, has not ruled out eventually arming the rebel forces. The Red Cross meanwhile is calling for daily ceasefires to allow urgently needed aid into the worst hit areas. Simon Hanna, Reuters.