Syrian troops backed by tanks launched a ground offensive on Wednesday to try to retake the opposition stronghold of Bab Amr in the central city of Homs, but reportedly were being held back by stiff resistance from rebels fighting with the Free Syrian Army, activists said.
An activist living on the outskirts of the Bab Amr neighborhood who identified himself as Abu Emad, said fierce clashes erupted Wednesday morning after the Syrian army sought to push its way into the area near a sports stadium.
The U.N. Human Rights Chief says Syrian forces are bombarding civilians and committing countless atrocities. A top U.N. official now says 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising there began.
He said the sound of the fighting could clearly be heard across the city, but with all communications to the neighborhood cut off, it was impossible to establish exactly what was happening there.
The human rights advocacy group Avaaz quoted a person in Homs as saying the army had entered one part of the Bab Amr neighborhood. Avaaz said it was still trying to verify reports that the Free Syrian Army was battling the troops’ advance.