Syria: enmities deepen in encircled Homs
Syrian troops tightened their siege of the war-ravaged city of Homs on Friday , surrounding mosques and public squares and killing at least 11 people. However, a much-feared attack using heavy armour has not so far been launched, with up to 300 tanks remaining on the city’s outskirts.
Homs residents said on Friday morning that they had received information that a full-scale invasion would start within 72 hours. They said large numbers of tanks had been repositioned outside Homs since Wednesday. “It didn’t happen today,” said one Homs man. “There were 15 explosions in town, some of them from the [tank] shells, but the 300 tanks stayed outside for now.”
Across Syria, the Muslim holy day of Friday was again the bloodiest day of the week - a pattern that has repeated most weeks since an uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad erupted in March.
At least 15 people are thought to have been killed across the country. Some estimates put the number as high as 30. The restive city of Homs, which has been in open revolt since August, was again the focal point of the violence, with security forces trying unsuccessfully to stop demonstrations from gaining momentum.