Syria air strikes on Homs kill woman, children: NGO

Syria air strikes on Homs kill woman, children: NGO

BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
Syrian air strikes in the central city of Homs on Sunday killed three civilians as regime forces pressed forward with a new bid to retake several rebel-controlled districts, a watchdog said.

“Syrian warplanes carried out air strikes on the Old City of Homs... destroying a house and causing three deaths,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Regime forces also carried out heavy shelling of the districts of Khaldiyeh and the Old City, and the sound of explosions could be heard,” the group added.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said at least three civilians, a woman and two children, were killed in the air strikes in the Old City, and that dozens of people had been injured since the army assault began on June 29.

“The army is continuing its attempt to enter Khaldiyeh, but it hasn’t succeeded so far,” he said.

On June 29, the group said regime forces were engaged in “unprecedented” bombardment of several parts of Homs, including Khaldiyeh, Bab Hud, Hamidiyeh and Bustan al-Diwan.

A security source in Damascus confirmed fierce fighting was under way.

“Military operations never stopped in Homs, but their pace increases according to priorities,” he told Agence France-Presse on June 29.

“What’s important is to cleanse those neighbourhoods of Homs that are in the hands of armed terrorists, particularly Khaldiyeh, Hamidiyeh and the Old City,” he added.

Syria’s Al Watan daily, which is close to the government, said on Sunday that the army had “made qualitative new advances in the city of Homs amid fierce clashes with armed militias in Khaldiyeh and Bab Hud”.