VIDEO: Massive Explosion in Syria Shows Current State of War

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Recent videos emerging from Syria show the escalation of a civil war that seemingly has no end in sight.

The videos, shot on May 5, shows activists and rebels detonating a huge bomb near the town of Talmenes. Storyful, a social media news agency, corroborated the videos’ authenticity. A nearby rebel brigade claimed that the bombing was part of a coordinated attack that led to the “liberation” of a checkpoint, and that 40 tons of explosives were used in the explosion.

Here is another view of the explosion:

Rebels claimed that the attack killed 35 pro-government soldiers, while it injured three opposition members. These numbers could not be independently verified.

The fighting continues, even as President Bashar Al-Assad’s government is preparing to hold elections on June 3. The opposition has denounced the elections as a sham.

This week, U.S. officials have agreed to offer Syrian opposition groups, loosely referred to as either the Syrian Opposition Coalition or the Syrian National Coalition, the status of “foreign mission.” The designation is part of the latest effort of U.S. leaders to help moderate opposition groups in the midst of a civil war that has claimed the lives of up to 150,000 over the last three years, according to recent estimates.