Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Syria crisis: Homs comes under heavy bombardment

Images appear to show bombing in Baba Amr district of Homs
Rebel-held areas of the central Syrian city of Homs are coming under intense bombardment from the Syrian army.
Anti-government activists report that 12 people have been killed so far on Tuesday and 100 injured. This cannot be independently confirmed.
Activists have been warning of additional government forces around Homs, ahead of a possible ground assault on the city.
Thousands have died in Syria in an 11-month uprising against the government.
The BBC's Jim Muir, who is monitoring events from neighbouring Lebanon, says the bombardment is the heaviest for some days, with several shells landing every minute.
Reports from the city say the field hospital has been hit, and video footage appears to show tanks moving through Homs.
Our correspondent says it is unclear if the bombardment is the precursor to a much-feared ground assault on the Baba Amr district of the city. Buildings have been flattened in today's shelling, he says.

Start Quote

I'm trying to leave the area because of the gunfire and heavy shelling - this is a large scale military assault on defenceless civilians”
Omar Anti-government activist near Homs
The Syrian government says it is acting to clear out pockets of "armed terrorist gangs" - its term for the rebel fighters.
There are believed to be several hundred fighters from the rebel Free Syrian Army in Baba Amr, and correspondents say it is not clear whether they would put up resistance or melt away.
'Defenceless civilians' An activist in hiding near Baba Amr, Omar, told the BBC that it was no longer safe to stay there.
"I'm trying to leave the area because of the gunfire and heavy shelling, which has rocked the city," he said.
"This is a large-scale military assault on defenceless civilians."
The casualties include two children, one of whom is six years old, he said.
Russia has proposed that the United Nations should send a special envoy to Syria to help co-ordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Russia and China have vetoed UN Security Council resolutions condemning the violence and backing an Arab League plan aimed at ending the conflict in Syria.
'Help arm fighters' US Senator John McCain has said that Washington and its allies should find a way to help arm the opposition fighters.
"It is time we gave them the wherewithal to fight back and stop the slaughter," he said on a visit to Cairo.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday that it was trying to negotiate a humanitarian ceasefire so that food and medical supplies could be brought into the areas of Syria worst affected by the violence.
Human rights groups believe more than 7,000 people have been killed since the uprising began.
The Syrian government says at least 2,000 members of the security forces have died fighting militants.
It is pressing on with its plans for a referendum on a proposed new constitution on Sunday, which it regards as the centrepiece of its reform programme.
Map of Homs

Post a Comment