Bombardment of Syria’s Homs resumes, activists say

Two damaged armoured military vehicles are seen after clashes between president Bashar al-Assad forces and Free Syrian Army in Cairo Square near Khaldiyeh area in Homs on Feb. 4, 2012. (Photo: Reuters) 
REUTERS, AMMAN Heavy bombardment of the Syrian city of Homs resumed on Tuesday after at least 95 civilians were killed on Monday in an offensive to put down a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, activists and residents said.
“The bombardment is again concentrating on Bab Amro. A doctor tried to get in there this morning but I heard he was wounded,” Mohammad al-Hassan, an activist in Homs, told Reuters by satellite phone.
“There is no electricity and all communication with the neighbourhood has been cut,” he added.
The authorities say the military is fighting “terrorists” in Homs bent on dividing and sabotaging the country. Syria, a majority Sunni Muslim nation, has been since 1970 under the rule of the Assad family from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

The attack was renewed on the day Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to meet Assad in Damascus and discuss ways to try to end the uprising, although Moscow has vetoed a resolution against Syria at the United Nations Security Council.

Catherine al-Talli, a senior member of the opposition Syrian National Council, said the attack on Homs was aimed to show Moscow that Assad was in control and he could serve until his term expires in 2014.

“Assad needs to look strong in front of the Russians. He has not managed to control Homs since the eruption of the uprising and now that he has seen that he faces no real threat from the international community it appears that he wants to finish off the city,” Talli said.

“There are live television feeds from Bab Amro and the whole world can see indiscriminate shelling of civilians. This has not stopped him.”


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