Total Pageviews

Friday, January 18, 2013

Video of Aleppo University Bombing

Last Updated, Wednesday, 3:54 p.m. Video posted online by Syrian opposition activists appeared to show the moment one in a series of deadly explosions struck the campus of Aleppo University on Tuesday.

Video said to capture an explosion on the campus of Aleppo University in Syria on Tuesday, uploaded to the Web by opposition activists.

The brief clip, uploaded to the YouTube channel of the ANA New Media Association (formerly the Syrian Activists News Association), begins with a view of smoke rising from behind a university building as students mill about. Moments later, following a very loud eplosion close to the camera, students run for cover and a much larger plume can be seen above the building.

The building visible in the video looks similar one pictured in a photograph of the campus uploaded to the Web in 2010, which suggests that the clip was recorded by someone standing outside the university’s college of education, looking in the direction of the school of architecture.

A description of the video posted on YouTube by ANA, which is run from Cairo by the British-Syrian activist Rami Jarrah, said that the video was filmed by an activist just after the university was hit by a missile fired from a S! yrian Air Force MIG fighter jet, and captured the impact of a second airstrike.

Another video clip, uploaded to the Web earlier in the day, appeared to offer a more distant view of the plumes of smoke above the campus. Mr. Jarrah, who blogs as Alexander Page, suggested that one part of the video showed the fighter jet’s contrail in the sky over the damaged buildings.

While opposition activists insisted that the blasts, which killed more than 80 people according to the government, were the result of arstrikes by President Bashar al-Assad’s air force, state-controlled television channels claimed that “terrorists” had fired rockets at the campus.

An English-language news bulletin from Syrian state television started with a minute of raw footage showing the aftermath of “the terrorist explosion at Aleppo University.” The pro-Assad satellite channel al-Ikhbaria also broadcast video of the aftermath, showing extensive damage to the campus and victims being rushed from the scene as on-screen text blamed the attack on rebel forces.

Video from the pro-government Syrian satellite channel al-Ikhbaria showed the aftermath of bombings at Aleppo University! on Tuesd! ay

Restrictions on independent reporting in Syria make it hard to confirm who was responsible for the explosions, but the university is in a government-controlled area of the city and large anti-Assad demonstrations there last May were harshly dealt with by the security forces, despite the presence of United Nations observers.

Opposition activists claimed that witnesses saw the bombs drop from jets, and one antigovernment Facebook page posted what it said was a copy of a statement from the univesity’s own press office accusing Syrian Air Force MIG fighter planes of targeting the campus in two “criminal” missile attacks three minutes part.

A blogger in Aleppo who supported peaceful protests against the Assad government but has been fiercely critical of the armed rebellion, Edward Dark, described the carnage as a result of an air attack that was “probably a mistake, not an intentional bombing.”