Syria troops pound Homs as toll mounts

2012-04-18 09:20
Beirut - Syrian regime forces shelled rebel neighbourhoods of the flashpoint central city of Homs on Wednesday, as a tenuous truce struggled to take effect despite the arrival of UN military observers.

Sniper fire killed six civilians in Homs on Tuesday, among at least 15 dead nationwide, monitors said, as the head of the UN advance team acknowledged the mission faced a "difficult" task shoring up the ceasefire that went into force at dawn last Thursday.

Wednesday's bombardment targeted four rebel districts of Homs - Jurat al-Shayah, Al-Qarabis, Khaldiyeh and Bayyada, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They are among a string of neighbourhoods of Syria's third largest city that remain outside security force control despite a massive assault on its Bab Amr district that saw hundreds killed, including Western journalists, before troops moved in on 1 March.

In Idlib, a northwestern province close to the border with Turkey which is another stronghold of fighters of Free Syrian Army, regime forces killed six civilians on Tuesday, the Britain-based Observatory said.

Five bodies were found near Idlib city, the watchdog added. More were found in the Homs province town of Qusayr and near the capital.

11 100 dead

In Daraa province, south of Damascus, cradle of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime that erupted in March last year, security force fire killed three civilians, one of them a mourner attending a funeral, the Observatory said.

The latest deaths bring the overall toll from the 13-month-old revolt to more than 11 100, according to the watchdog's figures.

Colonel Ahmed Himmiche, the Moroccan heading the UN advance team that arrived in Damascus on Sunday, said the mission would move forward one step at a time in its efforts to consolidate the shaky ceasefire.

"It's a difficult mission that needs co-ordination and planning," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"No ceasefire, not even the beginnings of a political process - this mission will be one of the toughest ever undertaken by the United Nations," he added.

Syria is holding up an accord with Himmiche's advance party which threatens approval for the full mission, diplomats at the world body said.

Negotiations have become deadlocked on a memorandum of understanding which would allow the observers to operate across the country, the diplomats added.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.