Syrian army shells Homs after agreeing to truce

Assad, rebels agree to temporary ceasefire to allow aid access to wounded, but ICRC teams remain on standby as fighting rages.

By REUTERS
June 21, 2012 12:30
1 minute read.
Syrians demonstrate near Homs [file]

Syrians demonstrate near Homs 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Shaam News Network)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Don't show it again

BEIRUT - The Syrian army was shelling central districts of Homs on Thursday, residents said, after rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad agreed to a temporary truce to allow aid access to the sick and wounded.

Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross and its partner the Syrian Red Crescent were on standby. More than 10 days of heavy fighting has left hundreds of civilians stuck in the old city of Homs, unable to leave the battlefield, the ICRC said on Wednesday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Waleed Faris, a resident of one of the neighborhoods the ICRC was trying to enter, said shelling was heaviest at dawn on Thursday but there were signs the violence may be subsiding.

"Early this morning there was heavy shelling. Now I can hear one or two mortars fall every half an hour. It is quiet today compared to the past few days," he said, adding that two people had died in his neighborhood of Khalidiya on Thursday.



Rabab al-Rifai, a spokeswoman for the ICRC in Damascus, said a small ICRC team left the capital on Wednesday for Homs and joined tens of Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers in the city.

"We got the OK from the authorities and opposition groups also gave us assurances that they would respect the pause (in fighting)," she told Reuters by telephone.



"But that is one thing, and practical details on the spot - contacts, verification and making sure our teams can enter safely without hindrance - is important."

Click for full JPost coverage

Homs has been at the center of the 15-month revolt against Assad and became the focus of world concern in February and March, when opposition-held neighborhoods endured weeks of government bombardments and sniper fire in which hundreds of people were killed.

A Homs resident said a similar evacuation agreement was reached a few days ago but collapsed when shots were fired by Assad's forces. The government said on Tuesday it was trying to evacuate civilians and blamed rebel fighters for obstructing efforts to get people out safely.


Related Content

Debris from ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi militia fell on Riyadh
June 25, 2018
Saudi air defenses intercept missiles above capital, coalition says

By REUTERS