April 30 - Amateur videos purport to show the aftermath of explosive barrel blasts on Syria's Aleppo. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO, WHICH HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Smoke and rubble filling the streets of Aleppo in the aftermath of attacks using explosive barrels have been purportedly captured in a series of amateur videos uploaded to the internet and said to have been shot on Sunday (April 27). Reuters is unable to verify the content of the videos which had been edited and uploaded to a social media website by an organization called Aleppo Media Center (AMC). The videos were purportedly shot in various districts of Syria's northern city. Smoke filled the streets of what was said to be the al-Kallaseh district of Aleppo in the aftermath of what the video said were explosive barrel bombs. Western powers have condemned the use of barrel bombs - strikes in which helicopters drop highly destructive improvised explosives - as a war crime. A third video, purportedly shot in the Baidin area of the Haidariyah district of Aleppo, an area claimed to be home to car repair services, showed a vehicle in flames. A son mourning his deceased father in the al-Shaar district of the city was purportedly shown on a further amateur video. President Bashar al-Assad's forces have stepped up their aerial bombardment of Aleppo and surrounding towns after making gains around Damascus and in central Syria. Rebels have fought back in the north-west and southern parts of Aleppo, causing heavy casualties with their own rockets and missiles, according to a United Nations report. Syria's civil war, now in its fourth year, has killed more than 150,000 people and displaced many millions of others. More than 2.5 million people have fled the country.