Some Women, Children Evacuated in Homs: ICRC
The first of the wounded and sick women and children trapped in the besieged Baba Amro district of Homs were evacuated on Friday as international pressure mounted on the Syrian government to open up the country to humanitarian aid.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had brought out seven Syrian women and children and taken them to a hospital in Homs.
“It’s a first step forward,” ICRC chief spokeswoman Carla Haddad told Reuters in Geneva. “The priority now is evacuating the seriously wounded or sick.”
News of the evacuation came as Western and Gulf Arab nations met in Tunis to escalate pressure on President Bashar al-Assad over his crackdown on 11 months of protests.
Speaking at the meeting, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Feisal said he supported arming the rebels.
“I think it’s an excellent idea,” he said at the start of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who warned Assad would pay a heavy price for the violence in Syria and said he must allow in urgent humanitarian relief.
“If the Assad regime refuses to allow this life-saving aid to reach civilians, it will have even more blood on its hands,” Clinton said. “So too will those nations that continue to protect and arm the regime.”