The scene of mad, senseless violence against civilians is a reminder that Assad will keep killing with impunity as long as he's able.
The above video, uploaded on Saturday to YouTube, appears to show a Syrian army anti-aircraft tank firing wildly into an urban neighborhood in the city of Douma, just outside of Damascus. As the tank swivels and aims, apparently at random, two posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are visible on either side of the turret.
The tank, which Chris Albon identified as a Russian ZSU-23-4 "Shilka," fires enormous 23-millimeter rounds that are meant to destroy far-away aircraft. A few rounds, fired in Syria's dense and old architecture, could tear through dozens of houses, as is surely the point. "AA-guns are brutal weapon to use against civilians," Albon tweeted, "but sadly not uncommon." According to Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor, "they were used a lot by Qaddafi in Libya. One of those rounds will rip a body in two."
This sort of irrational, random killing -- brought not to anti-regime militants or even protesters on the street but to families cowering in their homes -- may help explain why Syrian activists say 59 children have been killed in the week since China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for Assad's resignation. The Syrian regime has often targeted children in the now months-long crackdown.