'Scores dead' in fighting in Syria's Homs

At least 100 people have reportedly been killed in a major army offensive in the central Syrian city of Homs.

Activists talking to Al Jazeera in the early hours of Saturday said the army had used mortars and nail bombs in the assault on the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood.

The military was reportedly responding to attacks by army defectors in the area.

Hundreds were said to be injured, and a medical student at a hospital in Homs told Al Jazeera that there was an urgent need for blood as medics were struggling to attend to the injured.

The BBC has tweeted that “more than a hundred people have been killed in [this] latest violence”. Anonymous tweets that reports say that more than 200 are dead and 700 are injured.

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  • Syria: ‘300 killed’ as regime launches huge attack on besieged city of Homs

    Massive artillery barrage comes as Russia and China veto UN security council resolution calling on president to step down

    The Guardian, By Martin Chulov & Paul Harris, February 4

    The Syrian city of Homs was left reeling on Saturday from harrowing accounts of a massacre that has left hundreds of people dead. Residents of the besieged city said that at least 300 people had been killed in a massive regime artillery barrage, the most deadly attack of the 11-month uprising.

    The reports described horrific scenes in a city that has suffered most from recent violence, but not previously experienced a bombardment on this scale. Homs is divided almost in two, with Alawites, who are loyal to the regime, on one side and Sunni Muslims, who want to oust Assad, on the other.

    President Obama condemned what he called “the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs”, saying in a statement that Assad “has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community”. Obama accused Syria of having “murdered hundreds of [its own citizens], including women and children”, and called for international co-operation to get rid of the Syrian leader.

    The French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, said: “The massacre in Homs is a crime against humanity, and those responsible will have to answer for it.”


    Residents of Homs contacted by the Observer were in a state of shock. “They used mortars against civilians,” said Fadi, who lives in the city, in a phone call. “When they have arrested people and committed various crimes over the past year, we could perhaps understand that, even find justification for it. But not this. This is something new and evil.

    “The number of dead is now around 290 persons. We don’t know how to bury them all. We don’t know exactly what to do. The street to the cemetery is completely closed. We have been burying people in the gardens, the public parks, but now we can’t get to them.

  • Activists and witnesses say army has been indiscriminately shelling the Bab Amr neighbourhood of the city since Sunday.

    Al Jazeera, February 6

    The Syrian army has stepped up its attacks on opposition fighters in Homs, activists and witnesses have said, a day after a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria was blocked by Russia and China.

    Video received by Al Jazeera from opposition activists on Sunday showed the apparent devastation caused by a military offensive in the Bab Amr neighbourhood of Homs.

    Activists and witnesses said the army has been shelling the neighbourhood “indiscriminately” since Sunday morning.

    The video images appear to show people who have been shot and hit by shrapnel, including heavily injured young children.


    Turkey joined the backlash Sunday, with deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc criticising Iran and other Arab countries for failing to speak out on the Syrian crisis.

    “I am addressing the Islamic Republic of Islam: I do not know if you are worthy of being called Islamic,” Arinc said, according to the Anatolia state news agency.

    “Have you said a single thing about what is happening in Syria?”

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