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Friday, January 4, 2013

Video Shows Airstrikes Near Crusader Castle in Syria

Video posted online by Syrian opposition activists on Friday appeared to show fresh airstrikes near the historic medieval castle Krak des Chevaliers, in Qalaat al-Hosn, west of the city of Homs near the Lebanese border.

Video of explosions near a medieval castle in the Syrian town of Qalaat al-Hosn, west of Homs.

According to a Unesco description of the world heritage site, the fortress “was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271. With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles .”

As my colleague Liam Stack reported, government forces attacked rebels in near the fortress during the summer. In July, Agence France-Presse produced a dramatic video report on the battles around the castle (which includes graphic images of a rebel fighter who was killed in the fighting).

A video report from Agence France-Press showed rebel fighters in the Syrian town of Qalaat al-Hosn in July.

The very start of another clip uploaded to the same activist YouTube channel later on Friday appeared to offer a brief glimpse of the bombs being dropped on the town from jets that screamed overhead. It is difficult to say exactly what sort of bombs were being dropped on the town, but their impact, and the way they seemed to float down, appeared similar to a type of cluster munitions designed to destroy runways.

Video recorded by Syrian opposition activists, said to show air strikes on Qalaat al-Hosn on Friday.