Dec. 20 - Amateur video from Syria purports to show heavy shelling across Aleppo, while a mosque comes under fire during Friday prayers in Homs. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Aleppo under attack. Amateur video which can not be independently verified by Reuters appears to show an airstrike on Aleppo. Residents scramble in rubble lined streets in search of what has been left behind. The government campaign has been relentless as it tries to recapture Eastern and central parts of Aleppo, which rebels stormed in the summer of 2012. Peace talks are set for January, but it is not even clear who will show up. Senior opposition figures tell Reuters they are now questioning whether they should sit down at the table following warnings from the U.S. that a swift departure of President Bashar al-Assad cannot be guaranteed. The planned talks are the most serious international effort yet to find a political solution to an almost three-year-long conflict which has killed more than 100,000 people. Nothing is sacred in the fight. Footage from Homs appears to show a mosque coming under attack during Friday prayers. As the country is battered by conflict, chronic faultlines in rebel forces are undermining Western efforts to pressure Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for 40 years. Now in Homs prayers have turned to anguish in a country where there is little prospect for peace.