Syrian city sees another deadly day of shellings

“Bombs fall, bullets fly, cocks crow — and a rainbow appears. The battle in Homs on livestream,” The Post’s Liz Sly wrote on Twitter early Wednesday morning.

It was another day of deadly shelling in Syria, despite declarations from Russia that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “completely committed” to stopping the fight.


A Syrian rebel stands guard on a street in Idlib, Syria. (AP)

While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the international community not to intervene and to allow more time for dialogue with Assad, the city of Homs came under renewed bombardment Wednesday. The BBC reports it’s the “heaviest” yet, as activists say military tanks are rolling in the streets. BBC’s Paul Wood, who has now left Homs after reporting there for the past few days, writes:

Unconfirmed reports claimed that pro-government militiamen known as “shabiha” were going door-to-door and killing indiscriminately.

There are also reports that 18 premature babies died after their incubators failed as a result of power cuts. State TV denied the reports and said Homs hospitals were operating normally.

As many as 100 civilians died in the attacks on Wednesday alone, according to Reuters. Hundreds of amateur videos have been pouring in on YouTube, showing dead bodies, damaged buildings and the grief of family members who have lost their relatives.

The following video posted on YouTube show a devastated neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs, after it was reportedly shelled by government forces.

Another video posted online by activists shows civilians killed during attacks (Warning: Graphic footage inside.)

This video from Rastan shows a relative of Maher al-Masri weeping over his body:

The violence comes on the heels of a U.S. decision to close its embassy in Damascus on Monday, citing security concerns. The decision was also seen as an effort to increase pressure on Assad to step down.

Three days earlier, Russia and China had vetoed a U.N. resolution condemning the violent crackdown.

In response to the veto, Washington Post editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes created a cartoon featuring leaders in all three countries, riffing off of the three wise monkeys that hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil:

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States was “disgusted” by the Russian and Chinese vetoes. 

See our continuing photo coverage of the Syrian crackdown.


View Photo Gallery: Protesters opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad face violent responses from security forces, and the United States has closed its embassy in the country as the violence grows.

More Syria coverage:

- World: A TV cameraman flees Syria

- World: Obama administration struggles to find strategy to halt Syria violence

- World: Russia raps West, sends mission to Syria

- Video: Syrian families forced underground

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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