It was a very aggressive attack on Baba Amr today. I don’t think they want to enter it anyway; they want to destroy it completely by shelling it from adjacent villages and neighborhoods.Mulham al-Jundi, Syrian activist • Describing the state of Baba Amr, a part of the besieged city of Homs in Syria. Homs has been the site of the most sustained, catastrophic violence in recent months, and tanks have reportedly surrounded the Baba Amr neighborhood on four sides, launching mortar fire and rockets into the fray. Communication into Baba Amr, which had been maintained for weeks, was cut off for a few hours today, conjuring fears of a ground massacre rolling through the area. Thankfully, recent reports suggest this has not yet occurred. The scene in Homs is ghastly, and looks to be getting worse every day — al-Jundi also said it’s hard to discern how many people are left alive, because anybody who moves through the streets risks being shot dead by government snipers stationed on rooftops. source (via • follow)
The largest mortars used by the U.S. military are 160mm. The bad boys shown in this video of a torn-apart building in Homs are a much-larger 240mm (according to Human Rights Watch), and can be fired from as far as 20 kilometers away. Where did they get these heavy mortar rounds from? Most likely Russia, which produces the ”Tulip” weapons system that fires weapons of this nature. (The towed M240 might also be used in these attacks.) So, to put it simply, Syria is lobbing giant weapons in its fight against the rebel movement. source
Just like every day, the residents of Baba Amr woke up (Sunday) to the sounds of violent bombing, as al-Assad forces continue to use different types of weapons, bombs, and rockets in their attacks.Syrian Activist Omar Shakir • Discussing the situation in Syria — particularly the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, the heart of the rebel movement — as if the deadly bombings taking place there were simply a way of life. At least 20 people have been killed in the country on Sunday (including a senior Syrian state prosecutor and a judge), and pushing the number to nearly 9,000 total deaths since the start of the movement, according to some estimates. But here’s the really, truly disturbing part: At a point when Syrian doctors are already greatly overworked, there is word that as many as 295 physicians have been arrested by Syrian officials, according to the Local Coordination Committees. Despite all this, China and Russia say that peaceful resolution can still happen in the country, despite arguments otherwise.
Dramatic video reportedly from Homs, Syria shows what activists say is the bombing of a neighborhood on February 14, 2012. [YouTube]
This is a completely irresponsible use of the veto by Russia and China. It is staggering that they have blocked the passage of what was already a very weak draft resolution. After a night in which the whole world watched the people of Homs suffering, the actions of these members are particularly shocking.Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty • Discussing the veto of the United Nations resolution against Syria’s Assad by Russia and China — a situation made all the more surprising by the hundreds killed in the city of Homs on Friday night. The situation in Syria is becoming hard to ignore, and this decision casts a harsh light on those countries that choose to ignore it.
Parody finds a place in Syria: In what would seem to be video taken from the Syrian city of Homs, one of the principle hotbeds of governmental violence against protesters and the general citizenry, a mocking performance of the Arab League’s recent monitors plays out. The final line, spoken by the rag-swaddled man representing the AL’s delegation: “There is nothing frightening in Homs.” This echoes the words of the delegation’s (highly criticized) leader, a Sudanese General named Mohammed al-Dabi, upon his visit to the devastated city. source
The beat goes on: It wouldn’t exactly be accurate to suggest that Syrian security forces have been waiting until the delegation of monitors from the Arab League (with its very controversial leader) leave areas before continuing violence against the citizenry, sadly. Indeed, attacks and killings of civilians brazenly went on throughout the delegation’s visit to Douma. The monitors left Homs today, spurring another outburst of violence; the Arab League plans to review the work of the delegation, and their ongoing role amidst vocal criticisms from foreign governments, France among them. source