Dec. 16 - Amateur footage appears to show the aftermath of an attack in a district near Damascus in a month-long campaign to dislodge rebels around the capital. Sarah Charlton reports.
REUTERS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO WHICH HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE Fire and smoke fill streets in an area said to be on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. The footage, which was posted online, appears to show the aftermath of an attack on the Beit Sahm district near Damascus. Opposition activists say government warplanes have bombed the area, in a bid to force rebel fighters out of the capital. Reuters cannot independently verify the footage. Elsewhere in the city of Homs, more amateur footage is said to show an air assault on al-Rastan district. A voice off-camera blames supporters of President Bashar al-Assad for the bombing, and says planes are targeting civilians. Activists believe the president has resorted to air strikes and artillery to stem rebel advances on the ground. In another video, gunfire rings out from a crossing said to be the Al-Rastan International Bridge. It was unclear who was firing on the structure, which is said to connect Homs to Hama. Over 21 months, an estimated 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict which has no end in sight.