Video depicts Syrian soldiers dancing, smiling as building burns
This image taken from video obtained from Ugarit News on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show Syrian soldiers dancing to Usher's hit song "Yeah!" (AP Photo / Ugarit News via AP video)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:59AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:00PM EST
BEIRUT -- A video posted online purportedly shows Syrian soldiers taking a break from the country's civil war by bopping around to American R&B star Usher's hit song "Yeah!"
The soldiers dressed in camouflage combat gear -- some armed with automatic rifles or rocket-propelled grenades poking out of their flak jackets -- form a conga line and shimmy past the camera grinning.
Near the end of the video, they stop dancing and break into their version of an oft-heard battle chant in the Middle East: "With our souls, our blood, we sacrifice for you Bashar!" as black smoke billows from a building in the background. In a jarring finale, they shoot bursts of automatic gunfire in the air.
The video, which was allegedly filmed in southern Syria, appeared to be authentic and the uniforms consistent with those worn by Syrian soldiers. It appeared on both pro-regime social networking sites and anti-regime YouTube channels, as is normal for such material.