News / Middle East

Activists: Assad Forces Kill 60 in Syria's Homs, Hospitals Overwhelmed

Wounded men are seen in the Sunni Muslim district of Baba Amr in Homs, Syria, February 8, 2012.
Wounded men are seen in the Sunni Muslim district of Baba Amr in Homs, Syria, February 8, 2012.

Syrian rights activists say government forces have bombarded the rebellious central city of Homs for a sixth day, killing at least 60 people and leaving makeshift hospitals overwhelmed as divided world powers struggled to end the violence.

The activists said Thursday relentless government shelling and rocket strikes on Homs were creating a worsening humanitarian crisis, with rebel-dominated neighborhoods lacking water and electricity and running low on basic supplies. They said the onslaught that began early Saturday has killed hundreds of people, making it the deadliest attack on Homs of the 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic rule.

U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch said those responsible for "horrific attacks" on residential neighborhoods "will have to answer for them."

VOA spoke with a Syrian activist in Homs who goes by the alias Abo Emad to conceal his identity. He said Syrian security forces are not letting up on their assault, adding that even walking one block from the building where he is hiding can be deadly.

“Everyday is worse than the day before," he said of the government assault. "More deaths, more casualties, more injured people, more destroying buildings every day.”

Abo Emad said there is very little access to mobile phones or land lines. He added that hospitals are overflowing with injured people and there are not enough doctors or medical supplies to care for the wounded.

Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London told Alhurra TV that sporadic shelling is affecting parts of Homs, including Khaldiyeh and Bayadah, but that the heaviest onslaught is on the Baba Amr district, where conditions are extremely difficult.

Government forces are focusing on Baba Amr as it has been a center of the opposition.

In an opposition video, Muhammad al Muhammad, a doctor who is treating the wounded in Baba Amr, urged Syrians and the world community to protest the shelling attacks. He pointed to five children who appear to be wounded and called on Syrians to take to the streets to protest.

VOA cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the video's contents.

U.S. President Barack Obama called for an end to "outrageous bloodshed" in Syria in his latest condemnation of Mr. Assad's crackdown on the revolt. He was speaking Thursday after talks with visiting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Mr. Obama has agreed to work with Washington's European and Arab allies to organize a group of nations known as Friends of Syria to explore ways of further isolating and pressuring the Assad government to stop the violence. Western and Arab nations decided to try to form the group after seeing Russia and China block their efforts to pressure Mr. Assad through the U.N. Security Council.

Moscow and Beijing vetoed a Western and Arab-backed Syria resolution on Saturday, the second time they have done so since October. Both powers said they do not want the Council to take sides in a domestic conflict and create a possible pretext for foreign intervention in Syria.

Video footage from Homs

Arab League foreign ministers were preparing to meet in Cairo on Sunday to discuss their next moves in the crisis. Officials said the ministers will discuss whether to recognize the opposition Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of Syria and whether to send a joint Arab League-United Nations observer mission to the country.

In other developments Thursday, Libya said it ordered Syria's top envoy and embassy staff to leave the country within 72 hours. Germany also said it is expelling four diplomats from the Syrian Embassy in Berlin after authorities arrested two men suspected of spying on Syrian opposition groups.

Rebel Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, who heads the loosely-knit Free Syrian Army that is fighting government forces, called the Syrian regime a tyranny and asked for help to defeat it.

Activists: Assad Forces Kill 60 in Syria's Homs, Hospitals Overwhelmed
Activists: Assad Forces Kill 60 in Syria's Homs, Hospitals Overwhelmed

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, says the Syrian government is trying to retake Homs in hopes of crushing the popular revolt at a key hub.

"They have been bombarding the city for the past six days," he said. "The bombarding is so heavy that it is clear that it is setting the stage for a ground offensive. The regime has made up its mind on conquering Homs, because they feel that if they conquer Homs, much of the uprising in the country will abate.”

Wire services and VOA reporter JulieAnn McKellogg contributed to this report.

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid