Syrian army attacks Homs with planes and mortar | News | DW | 29.06.2013
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Syrian army attacks Homs with planes and mortar

Syrian warplanes have hit rebel targets in Homs. The army has been on the offensive in recent weeks, reclaiming some of the territory it had lost to opposition forces over the past year.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that warplanes bombed rebel areas in Homs Saturday as clashes flared elsewhere in the heart of the city.

The army also fired mortar shells into several central districts of Homs, which had served as an opposition stronghold since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began as a series of nonviolent protests in March 2011.

"Warplanes carried out two consecutive raids against areas under siege in Homs city, as well as carrying out heavy shelling against the same districts," the Observatory announced. "The shelling is focused on the neighborhoods of Khaldiyeh, Bab Hud, Hamidiyeh and Bustan al-Diwan in an unprecedented manner."

The Observatory did not have an immediate report on the number of casualties.

However, the group announced that regime forces had used mortar shells, rockets, tank shells and heavy artillery in the assault.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said troops had tried to storm Khaldiyeh and that fighting continued around the old city. The army has laid siege to the districts for about a year now.

mkg/jlw (AFP, AP)