SYRIA

Witness describes horror of Homs bombing

 Residents in Syria’s flashpoint city of Homs awoke Monday to the sound of explosions, as the country’s armed forces stepped up its campaign to crush more than 10 months of anti-government protests. Sheltered in a building in the neighbourhood of Bab Amr, our Observer in Homs describes scenes of horror. Read more…

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Smoke rises from a shelled-out building in Homs.

 

Residents in Syria’s flashpoint city of Homs awoke Monday to the sound of explosions, as the country’s armed forces stepped up its campaign to crush more than 10 months of anti-government protests. Sheltered in a building in the neighbourhood of Bab Amr, our Observer in Homs described scenes of horror.

 

Known as a centre of anti-government protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, heavy shelling began in Homs’ neighbourhoods of Bab Amr and Inchaat at 6 a.m. While media report the death toll in Homs at 17, the Syrian opposition group  Local Coordination Committee said that at least 36 people have been killed thus far.

 

It is the second such attack since the weekend. According to reports, at least 200 people were killed on Saturday during a separate bombardment on Homs.

 

Bombardment of Homs' Bab Amr neighbourhood on Monday, February 6.

 

On Sunday, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution calling on Assad to quit power amid escalating violence in Syria.

“We have been shelled more than 20 times over the last two hours!”

Cheikh Raed, an activist, lives in Bab Amr. He spoke with the Observers Team via webcam at 11 a.m. on Monday.

 

Heavy shelling began early this morning. [The regular army] have been bombarding civilians with mortar and the streets are littered with corpses. The city is covered in blood.

 

This morning, dozens of people were killed and hundreds others injured in Bab Amr, but the toll will rise. What is the UN waiting for? For Bashar al-Assad to raze the entire neighbourhood? We have been shelled more than 20 times over the last two hours!

  

Raed uses his webcam to show a piece of shrapnel that he found in the street.

 

They even struck a hospital that had been constructed in Bab Amr with 120 calibre mortar. Everyone inside has been since forced out onto the streets. The situation is intense.

 

“The lower-floors of buildings are crammed”

A friend of mine who was a professor was killed by mortar after he went out to help the wounded. His body was unrecognisable.

 

There are few places to take shelter in this neighbourhood. Those who lived on the top floors of apartment buildings have sought shelter on lower levels, which are already packed with people. There can be as many as 20 people hiding out in a single room.

 

Others have tried to leave the neighbourhood, but it’s surrounded by tanks and it’s very dangerous. There are no more cars in the streets. A shell has just fallen [the Observers Team could hear the sound of explosions in the background]. We never know where and when they’re going to hit.

 

Where has humanity gone? Can’t other Arabs and Muslims see the terrifying images of what we’re living through?

 

They say that they’re attacking armed gangs, but are the women and children we see in videos a part of these armed gangs? Mortar can’t tell the difference between those who are armed and those who aren’t. It falls indiscriminately.

 

This is what we’re living in Bab Amr, for everyone to see".

 

Following Monday's bombardments, this home was transformed into a makeshift hospital.