June 13 - As Syrian rebels encroach on Damascus, amateur video purports to show government soldiers patrolling the outskirts of the city. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video out of Syria appears to show people running through the streets on the outskirts of Damascus. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters, comes amid reports that rebels are beginning to attack army strong-points and fighting gun battles with government troops, in and around the capital. The escalating violence could push President Bashar al Assad to devote more resources to protect Damascus. Analysts say the instability could spiral into full-fledged urban warfare, opening a new front amid tensions that have gone on for some 15 months. And yet the protests go on. More footage shows a night time demonstration. On Wednesday the British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Syria was on the verge of collapse. He said he would meet Russia's Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of an upcoming conference in an attempt to persuade Russia to use its leverage with the Syrian government to implement a UN backed peace plan. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters