Amateur video shows Syrian rebels loading shells into tanks as fighting continues, and a top Russian diplomat meets President Assad in Damascus. Mana Rabiee reports.
Fighters from the rebel Free Syrian Army load their missiles into tanks... and reportedly fire on government forces in the city of Homs. Reuters can't independently verify this or other amateur video posted online Wednesday, showing similar scenes, apparently in the town of Deraa and the capital Damascus ... as rebels fire on forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad. And as the fighting raged nearby, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was meeting with Assad. Moscow has long supported Assad, even supplying him with arms. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MIKHAIL BOGDANOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, SAYING: "Of course we discussed issues of the Syrian crisis. We see our objective in transferring it from a power confrontation into a phase of political settlement. We believe it has to be done as quickly as possible because every day we see more people dying, infrastructure being destroyed." Even as the attacks against his regime have intensified, Assad has become a more important ally to Russia than ever ... giving Moscow influence in an increasingly unstable region. Russia has proposed Moscow as the venue for talks between rebels and Assad's government... to find a settlement and end the fighting that's now in it's fourth year.