During the last few weeks, residents of Syria’s flashpoint city Homs have noticed a troubling trend – a series of trenches and dirt mounds lining roads on the city’s outskirts. Although it is unclear why these pits have been dug, our Observers in Homs believe the pockmarked terrain may be a military tactic to prevent anti-government activists from leaving the city.
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The city, which has been dubbed “capital of the revolution”, has played a major role in protests against Syrian president Bashar al Assad's regime and has consequently borne the brunt of a military crackdown in recent weeks. According to our Observers, the trenches stretch along a 5-10 kilometre expanse to the west and south of the city. Most importantly, the pitted roadsides cut across Homs’ Baba Amr neighbourhood, cradle of the city’s fervent anti-government movement, and extend into the suburb of Kafr Aya. There are also reportedly holes lining the motorway that links Homs to the capital, Damascus.
Although several of our Observers on the ground share the belief that these trenches are strategically placed to fence in Homs’ anti-government protesters, this is merely an educated guess.
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