Syrian forces open fire on protesters
The amateur video was purportedly shot during the funeral of a man named as Ahmed Idris on Sunday, but cannot be verified due to reporting restrictions inside Syria.
The apparant crackdown comes days after Syria’s 10-month uprising entered a particularly violent phase that some observers have attributed to regime nervousness following a string of rebel gains, both in Damascus and elsewhere.
With the arrival of an Arab League observer mission in December, Syrian government forces had showed relative restraint compared to the bloodletting that had gripped the country in the autumn.
However, the violence has escalated again sharply. Nearly 250 deaths have been reported since last Tuesday, at least 66 on Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Activists said soldiers had moved into Damascus’s suburbs at dawn, along with at least 50 tanks and other armoured vehicles. At least 19 civilians and rebel fighters were killed in that initial attack, they said. Fighters had taken over districts less than five miles from the heart of the city.