Aug. 11 - Amateur video appears to show the shelling of a mosque in the Syrian city of Deir al Zour. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL REUTERS IS UNABLE TO VERIFY SOME OF THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO WHICH HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. Amateur video uploaded to a social media website appears to show the shelling of mosque in the Syrian city of Deir al Zour. Reuters is unable to independently verify the footage. Syrian forces pressed on with an armoured offensive in the city in the east of Syria on Wednesday. Syrian authorities deny any assault took place in the city. They say they've faced attacks since protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March. They're blaming armed saboteurs for civilian deaths and the killing of some 500 soldiers and police. Also on Wednesday Syrian state television showed footage of what it said were tanks and other military hardware pulling out of the central city of Hama. The apparent withdrawal followed a ten-day assault on what's become a symbolic centre of the uprising. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, says Assad has lost authority SOUNDBITE: U.S Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, saying (English): "He has lost any legitimacy to lead and we think it is past ... it would be much, much better for the people of Syria and Syria would be better off without Assad. And we are looking to the future and we are looking to lend support to the people of Syria who have the same aspirations for freedom and democracy that we've seen in so many other parts of the world." Rights groups say at least 1, 700 civilians have died since the uprising began. Assad is under growing pressure to curb the bloodshed. Syria's already been hit by Western sanctions and three regional powers have called for change this week, leaving Iran the government only staunch ally. Paul Chapman, Reuters