Syria: Hundreds Dead, Wounded - All Hell Breaks Loose as Assad Forces Stomp City of Homs
In a drastic attempt to quell the unending civil unrest, Syrian armed forces have been pouring in with troops, tanks and heavy artillery, overrunning the streets of Homs Friday evening (local time) and carrying out what at best can be called a flat-out massacre.
Official and semi-official reports are putting the number of dead at slightly above the figure of 220, with as many as 500 injured and with entire buildings reported as having been razed. Many of the casualties are being reported as having originated from just the lone neighborhood of Khalidiya, where two of the more prominent opposition groups resided. However, unofficial details coming in from various sources place the figures higher; According to one source, the death toll may be closer to 300 and counting, with the number of injured people near the figure of 900, perhaps even crossing 1000.
At least 217 people were killed in shelling by Syrian forces in the city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said on Saturday.
“The death toll is now at least 217 people killed in Homs, 138 of them killed in the Khalidiya district,” Rami Abdulrahman, head of the British-based group, told Reuters, citing witnesses.
The Local Coordination Committees cited witnesses on the ground, who said the regime used tanks and heavy machine-guns.
It was not possible to verify activist or state media reports as Syria restricts access for independent media.
Meanwhile, U.N. Security Council members announced Friday that the council will meet on Saturday morning to vote on a European-Arab draft resolution endorsing an Arab League plan calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to give up power.
“UN Security Council is set to meet 9:00 A.M. Saturday,” Britain’s UN mission announced on Twitter on Friday. “Plan is to vote on Syria resolution.” Other missions confirmed the announcement.
Diplomats said that the meeting was tentatively scheduled for 9:00 A.M. EST (1400 GMT), though Russia had requested that it be pushed back to 11:00 A.M.
Diplomats said it was unclear if Russia, which has opposed significant council action on Syria since an uprising started there 11 months ago, would vote in favor, abstain or veto the resolution.
The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have died in attempts by Syrian government forces to crush anti-Assad protests across the country.
In the wake of these events, protests have been taking place in front of Syrian embassies across the world, including the UK, Greece, Egypt and more, with many of the protesters calling global intervention in Syria. In France, about 10 protesters gathered in front of the Syrian embassy, with some trying to breach the embassy compound. In Germany, anti-Syrian protesters broke into the embassy in Berlin and set pictures of Syrian President Assad on fire.