Syria claims that a number of its security forces have been murdered by “terrorists” in the last few weeks, as uprisings in the country against the Bashar Assad regime may have claimed more than 1200 lives, according to human rights activists.  New video from Syria calls into question the reliability of claims by Assad’s regime of “terrorism,” as CNN reports in this video today that dates from May:

Two videos newly posted on YouTube show what Syrian opposition activists say is the gruesome slaughter of civilians in the besieged city of Daraa who had tried to feed people during a recent uprising.

One video shows what appears to be a group of Syrian security forces standing over dead bodies, making jokes and discussing planting weapons on them. …

Throughout the uprising in Syria, the Syrian government has described protesters as “armed criminals” and “terrorists,” at times saying photos prove that the “criminals” were armed when security forces shot them.

In the video, the people speaking know they are are being taped, addressing the camera at times. Some of them are smiling or laughing. One jokes about “eyeliner” on one of the dead bodies.

In the brief cut from the CNN video, one can see a Syrian soldier placing a bandolier of ammunition on one of the bodies in an attempt to frame the story. In the original video, one gets a much more complete idea of the attempt to plant weapons on the corpses, which all appear to have been shot at close range on the rooftop.  Note that no soldiers are among the dead, nor do any appear to be wounded; it looks as though the men were crowded together and then executed.  This video contains extremely graphic and disturbing images, and should not be viewed by anyone who would be upset or sickened by it:

This massacre happened in Daraa last month. In the clip, a number of civilians are shot to death while they were trying to get some food to the people Daraa, a city which has been besieged by the regime since the beginning of the revolution. Bashar al-Assad’s Forces cold-bloodedly killed them and then put weapons on the victims to fool the media by giving the impression that the victims were terrorists.

If you listen carefully (at 1:12), you will hear one of the soldiers addressing one of the dead people on the floor, by saying: “Your dad came to you and told you to surrender, but you refused!!” Another solider (07:35) confirm[s] this statement. A third voice is heard saying, “I sent them up to five people but no one would listen to me!!”. You can also hear the soldiers talking about the necessity to leave the weapons untouched until “the committee” would arrive.

For those who didn’t watch the video, the soldiers stop the videographer while they continue to place weapons on the corpses. After the video resumes, the same soldiers then encourage the videographer to film the weapons placed on the bodies. It’s obviously a crude attempt to transform an execution into a defensive engagement. By the way, it also puts an end to the claim that Muslims will vehemently react to graphic images of dead Muslims; there is one shot here where the top of a man’s head has mostly disappeared.

So much for Assad the reformer. Meanwhile, near the Golan Heights, Syria may have decided that encouraging border rushes was not going to convince the Israelis to give up their captured high ground after all:

Syrian police blocked dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters from approaching the Israeli frontier on Monday, preventing a repeat of deadly clashes with Israeli forces that killed as many as 23 people who tried to rush the border.

Israeli officials said the instability in Syria ruled out any prospects for peace and accused the government of orchestrating the deadly unrest to deflect attention from its own crackdown on homegrown protests. Israel also questioned Syria’s reported death toll.

Syrian police set up a pair of checkpoints on Monday, including one a half-mile (kilometer) from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Nearly 20 protesters, some waving Syrian flags, were walking down a hill leading to the border when two police officers blocked their advance by extending their arms.

Nearly 20 protesters”? Assad’s forces may have stopped them out of embarrassment. If that’s all that Syria can muster for an anti-Israeli protest while tens of thousands fill the streets to demand Assad’s ouster, it’s a sign that Syrians are no longer afraid of their dictator, and that’s bad news for Assad, whose regime depends on fright and terror.