July 18 - New amateur video purports to show Syrian rebels taking over security posts in the capital. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION New amateur videos posted on social media websites said to show dozens of Syrian rebels storming a security post in southern Damascus on Wednesday (July 18). The footage showed fighters surrounding the building, firing and waving rifles. Smoke could be seen rising in the background, though it was not clear whether the security building itself was on fire. Other footage appeared to show the interiors of the destroyed building and another police station which was set ablaze. The incident in the southern district of Hajar al-Aswad followed a bomb attack earlier on Wednesday in which three of President Bashar al-Assad's top military officials - including his powerful brother-in-law were killed. More video published on Wednesday appeared to show rebels firing rounds under a bridge and a bulldozer cutting off the road as a narrator is heard saying: "The brigades of al-Ghouta are cutting off the main highway of the main ring road leading to Damascus." Rebel fighters said the assault on the capital was the start of the "liberation of Damascus" after months of clashes which activists say have killed more than 17,000 people. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of those videos, which have been obtained from a social media website.