May 25 - Intense combat between opposition rebels and regime forces supported by Hezbollah fighters continues to rage in strategically-important Qusair. Tom Dinham reports.
Smoke clears in the aftermath of a purported airstrike in Qusair, Syria. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of these videos, which have been obtained from a social media website. A days-old battle, which has left the town in ruins, intensified on Friday. The town lies in a strategic location near the Lebanese border and between the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the coast, homeland to the Alawite minority sect of President Bashar al-Assad. The Alawites are considered an off-shoot of Shia Islam. The fighting pits regime forces and allied fighters from the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah against the largely-Sunni rebels, who are attempting to prevent it falling into regime hands. Speaking on Saturday, the active chairman of the opposition Syrian National Council, George Sabra, urged Syrians to rush to the aid of the besieged rebels. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION ACTING CHAIRMAN, GEORGE SABRA, SAYING: "We are calling our brothers and sisters from the revolution and Free Syrian Army to support, give weapons to their brothers and sisters in Muhayamiya and Qusayr and the surroundings of our immortal capital, Damascus." More than 80,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which is destabilising the region.