US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, has posted declassified photographs on his Facebook site that the State Department said on Friday shows an army attacking a civilian area in the city of Homs.
An apparent satellite image seen by AFP shows columns of smoke rising as well as a line of vehicles, though it is not possible to tell if they are armored military vehicles, as the photograph claims they are.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the "declassified US national imagery" shows the destruction of Homs, which activists have said is being shelled relentlessly by the Syrian army.
Nuland described them as "very gruesome pictures showing lines of tanks, showing fires, showing the kind of thing that you really only see if you have a major military attacking in a civilian area."
She said more "declassified US national imagery" from Zabadani, Halbun and Rankus will appear on Ford's Facebook site in the next few days as well as on a new State Department site, www.stateondemand.com.
"Our intent here is to obviously expose the ruthlessness or the brutality of this regime and its overwhelming predominant military advantage and the horrible kinds of weaponry that it's deploying against its people," she said.
Nuland said Ford, who left Damascus when the US embassy was closed Monday for security reasons, will continue to use his Facebook site to "talk to the Syrian people on a regular basis, along with his Twitter feed."