A little more than a year after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, the chill of the Arab Winter has set in. At least three countries have been rocked by violence at the beginning of this week alone.
In Yemen, a vote Tuesday to rubber-stamp the U.S.-backed vice president as the new head of state — what should have been a moment to celebrate — was disrupted by attacks on polling stations in the south. In Bahrain, where the protesters recently marked one year of demonstrations, police used giant water cannons and tear gas Monday to disperse Bahrainis marching through the streets after a protester’s funeral. And in Syria, where violence continues to escalate between President Bashar al-Assad’s supporters and the rebel Free Syrian Army, the Red Cross has dubbed the city of Homs a “humanitarian catastrophe” and unrest has now spread to the capital.
As reporting by foreign correspondents continues to be a challenge in these countries, YouTube videos of the violence, posted by activists or protesters, give a window into what is happening.
From Bahrain, a video posted Monday by activists appeared to show armored vehicles spraying water on peaceful protesters as ambulances blared in the background:
A widely shared video shows two armored vehicles colliding with one another as they appear to chase down protesters. This footage is believed to have been taken in Jidhafs, in northern Bahrain, and was posted by the Bahraini activist group “MediaWithstand”:
From Syria, more videos of the violence filling the streets of many cities and towns were posted Tuesday. In one particularly disturbing video, posted by opposition activists, members of pro-Assad forces appear to be laughing as they encourage a man with learning difficulties to beat a detainee. The incident is believed to have taken place at a police station in Kisweh, in the Damascus suburbs, according to the Guardian.
The ongoing violence in the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, Syria, which has been captured on video time and time again, is purportedly shown in new footage uploaded by Syrian activists, which portrays a burning home and car just after they were shelled:
The Red Cross is now calling for a daily two-hour cease-fire in Syria so that it can deliver emergency aid and reach the wounded and sick.
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