Skip to comments.60 civilians killed as Syrian forces pound Homs
Posted on 02/22/2012 6:28:04 AM PST by nuconvert
Syrian government forces killed more than 60 people on Tuesday in assaults on villages and an artillery barrage in the restive city of Homs, activists said, and the Red Cross called for daily ceasefires to let in urgently needed aid.
Activists said at least 30 people died in the bombardment of the Baba Amro, neighbourhood of Homs city, and at least 33 were killed when forces trying to crush opposition to President Bashar al-Assad stormed villages in northern Idlib province.
In Damascus, security forces opened fire on demonstrators overnight, wounding at least four, activists said. Violence has hit the capital over the past week, undermining Assad's assertion that the 11-month-old uprising against his rule is limited to the provinces and the work of saboteurs.
Activist accounts of the violence could not be confirmed. The government bars most foreign journalists from Syria.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Jakob Kellenberger said, "It should last at least two hours every day, so that ICRC staff and Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have enough time to deliver aid and evacuate the wounded and the sick."
Western and Arab powers that are openly seeking Assad's downfall are preparing for the inaugural meeting of a "Friends of Syria" contact group in Tunisia on Friday.
Russia and China back Assad's own programme for reforms, which includes plans for a referendum on Sunday on a new constitution that would lead to elections in 90 days. Assad said this should satisfy demands for more democracy; his opponents said the proposals were a sham.
Russia said it would not attend the "Friends of Syria" meeting because the Syrian government would not be represented. The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested the UN Security Council should send a special humanitarian envoy to Syria.
Russia and China have faced Western and Arab criticism for blocking UN action against Syria. A former Syrian Defence Ministry auditor who defected in January told Reuters Moscow's arms sales to Damascus - nearly $1 billion last year - had increased since the start of the uprising.
Lebanon, which has tried to distance itself from the turmoil across its border, will also stay away from the Tunis meeting, its foreign minister said.
Activists said government forces launched the artillery attack on Homs after rebel fighters holding the opposition Baba Amro district blocked troops from entering. "Several shells are falling each minute," activist Nader al-Husseini told Reuters from the district, adding that at least two children were among the victims.
Another activist in the city said, "We have now at least 30 killed. One family is among them."
A third said, "Others are still buried. Today the shelling is very fierce."
The British-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces had stormed villages in Idlib province in the north of the country.
"The army stormed the village of Abdita and chased people in Iblin and Balshoon. They killed 33 people. All are civilians," the group said.
Activists in Homs said government forces backed by armour have been closing in on Baba Amro, a mainly Sunni neighbourhood, since the offensive on the city began on February 3.
Much of the opposition to Assad comes from the Sunni majority, while much of his support comes from minorities, including his Alawite sect, raising worries that violence could take on a sectarian slant and draw in neighbouring countries.
Tanks are deployed in the Inshaat district next to Baba Amro, opposition sources said. The Observatory said a convoy of more than 50 armoured vehicles was seen heading from Damascus towards Homs. A city of one million people on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, Homs has been at the heart of the uprising against Assad's 11-year rule. Residents say they are running short of medicine and food, and are massed together in crowded homes to seek shelter.
Seems to be a near total absence of counter battery fire on the part of the resistance. A shortage (or non use) of RPGs. Without such, the “revolution” is over.
The Russians & Iranians are arming Assad. So, unless the resistance gets help, (& it doesn’t look like they will) it’s going to be over soon.
The White House is stalling, hoping it’s over soon so they don’t have to get involved.
You call it a town, but it’s the 3rd largest city in Syria, with a population of about 1 million people.
Your comparisons are ridiculous.
There haven’t been any aerial attacks and no one has reported that there have been (with the exception of some helicopter gun ships shooting at people).
btw - the 60 killed were in one day, not weeks.
Not our problem!!!!
They badly need anti-tank weaponry. If they could start taking the tanks out, this thing could turn. Until then, it’s an uphill fight.
The White House won’t step in this time because those fighting are actually REAL “Freedom fighters” and NOT a planned overthrow by the Muslim Brotherhood. THAT’s why Obama will not even say one word about this. His blind-eye is already turned on these people as they actually believed the propaganda of the “Arab Spring” narrative, naively believing Obama’s administration would actually HELP them rid themselves of Assad and his government.
I believe this “revolution” is already over - much like all of the attempted resistance movements among the Iranian people over the last few years. Like you and others have pointed out, the Syrian Gov’t is being armed by Russia and Iran - both obviously have a vested interest in Assad’s admin. remaining in power. These people are unfortunately “on their own” with the exception of God Himself. The only thing the rest of us can do now is pray for the innocent and good among them, frankly. I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like knowing your own government is the one shelling your city...
Pretty soon they will be as dangerous as Chicago or Detroit in murders...
Not to support Assad but isn’t this the city where the uprising is based? Did they somehow think Assad wouldn’t shell them ? They knew what they’d be facing when they began this...and I suspect anticipated a similar result of the UN sending in forces to assist them. But it so far hasn’t played out that way....Syria has always been Irans arm and the people there know that. I am saddened for the loss of life but I cannot see those who began this uprising as taking into consideration the cost even though they knew how Assad plays these uprising out. So they hold as much responsibility as Assad for these deaths. IMO
As many have mentioned Syria is not Libya.....the differences are huge and results if UN gets into the fray are hurrendous. Especially with Russia and China boosting Assads military. This no doubt could lead to a third world war if this cannot be settled diplomatically.
You’re right. I combined the weeks in your 1st post with days in the 2nd.
And your point is what? That thousands haven’t been killed in Syria and things aren’t so bad?
Nations are simply pawns on the game table of the powers that be....while they fight those leaders barter for how each shall gain by who they defend. It's more than sad that people are dispensible but it is unfortunately the price when "freedom" is as is said...never "free".
This is not going to play out well by any stretch of the imagination.
“The press is making it sound worse than it is ...”
How do you know? Are you following all the internet & youtube posts of what’s happening there?
And how do you know what percentage of the people fighting Assad are Muslim Brotherhood? No one else knows. How do you know that the majority of people being killed aren’t ordinary people with women & childen, trying to survive?
Is it okay with you that Assad targets journalists?
Is anyone who is muslim your enemy?
“Is anyone who is muslim your enemy?”
“Only those who say up front that they are.”
You said “When thousands of my enemies are killed by each other, no it isn’t that bad.”
How do know the thousands killed are your enemy?
Yes, I see a pattern of MB opportunism.
Your answer to it is what? Let Assad slaughter whoever he wants to?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.