[QODLink]
Middle East

Syria army launches intense assault on Homs

Civilian deaths reported as air strikes and shelling destroy buildings in several areas of the central city.

Last Modified: 30 Jun 2013 20:34
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Air strikes killed at least three civilians as Syrian government forces intensified their attacks and pressed forward with a new bid to retake several rebel-controlled districts of Homs.

A woman and her two children were reported killed in attacks on the Old City of Homs and the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood on Sunday, the Syrian Observator for Human Rights told the AFP news agency.

"Syrian warplanes carried out air strikes on the Old City... destroying a house and causing three deaths," said Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Regime forces also carried out heavy shelling of the districts of Khaldiyeh and the Old City, and the sound of explosions could be heard."

"The army is continuing its attempt to enter Khaldiyeh, but it hasn't succeeded so far," he said.

Video uploaded to the internet also showed a man carrying an injured child from a destroyed building, asking members of the child's family if there were more people trapped inside. The origin of the video could not be verified.

Another video, said to have been filmed on Sunday, showed buildings coming under attack with explosions going off in the besieged district of Hama Road, in what a person off-camera described as 'barbaric shelling by Assad gangs," referring to the embattled president Bashar al-Assad. 

The bombardment comes a day after the group said government forces were engaged in "unprecedented" bombardment of several parts of Homs, including Khaldiyeh, Bab Hud, Hamidiyeh and Bustan al-Diwan.

Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford said mobile phone connections in the city were cut on Saturday, before government jets began their bombing raids. Civilians were trapped in their homes in the attacks, he said.

An activist told Al Jazeera it was the most intense fighting the city had experienced, and that civilians face the "worst ever" if nothing was done to break the siege.

A spokesman for the Assad government said: "What's important is to cleanse those neighbourhoods of Homs that are in the hands of armed terrorists."

350

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list