Note from Farid Ghadry: I understand that some of the PJM readers have expressed skepticism about the videos our people in Syria are able to shoot and upload, some using their own cell phones and some with video cameras.
The videos get uploaded to us within hours of being shot on the same day of the event. Faking videos takes time and very sophisticated equipment. None of which are available to the Syrians fighting the murderous regime of Assad. However, if anyone believes these are fake videos, RPS would be more than happy to fully refund your airline ticket to Dara’a, Latakya, or Homs if you can prove, after your trip, that these are fake videos. And don’t forget your own video camera as this could be a real memorable trip.
Syrian security forces, positioned on rooftops, have been picking off unarmed civilian demonstrators with live hollow-point ammunition using high-precision rifles. The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body.
Izrah’ (near Dara’a, in southeastern Syria):
A father carries a dead, or dying, child — later identified as ten-year-old Iyad Awad Shehab — who has been shot in the head. The child’s brother screams “Akooya (my brother).”
The videographer pans to show a chaotic situation. People shout “Car!” — a car is approaching down the road to spray them with bullets. The videographer is heard calling out to god:
A man who has been fatally shot in the head is carried through a large crowd. The crowd chants “No god but one god.” Someone calls the man a martyr:
Zabaltani (outskirts of Damascus):
People run as gunfire erupts down the road. A large poster displayed by the Syrian government reads “I am with the law”.
A courageous man shouts “Don’t worry people!” Then: “A traitor kills his people!” This phrase has been frequently heard in demonstrator chants.
Another man: “Come back, we are all together. … Let him kill ten, one thousand, one million, we are all together in one hand!”
A minute later, the dead and the injured from the earlier burst of gunfire appear. The videographer intentionally does not zoom on the demonstrators’ faces (the video may be used to identify demonstrators to detain and torture later).
The first victim comes into focus — the videographer asks several times: “Where is he hit?” Bystanders ask for a car to transport him to the hospital. They ask for his name, and it is given as Bassam Abu Saleem.
Another burst of gunfire is heard, and more people flee. The videographer shouts: “Gunfire, gunfire!” A bullet hits close by and ricochets — Syrian thugs have been targeting anyone holding a video camera to prevent the footage of massacres reaching the outside world.
The gunfire stops, and the videographer runs to a body on the ground with a gunshot wound through his head. They try to carry him to a car, in vain. One says: “put your hands under his head” — presumably to attempt to stop the bleeding.
They drop the body, then lift him and carry him off. Heavy gunfire again targets the civilians, and the videographer can be heard praying. Another victim is seen being carried to safety: