An eyewitness interviewed on CNN was able to express to viewers that a number of members of the Syrian Army deserted those ranks and joined with the far less well equipped Free Syrian army. As civilians came into the Khaldiyeh neighborhood in Homs where this unification was taking place, the Syrian army began random shelling of the narrow streets and rooftops of Homs. Mortars and artillery shells were among the weapons used.
In the first hour, 40 were killed, the eyewitness, calling himself “Danny,” said. During the shelling, which lasted for hours, and was at the time of the interview ongoing, hundreds were killed. The dead included women and children. Bodies had to be buried, or simply removed from the streets. People were risking their lives to bring these bodies and injured to a safe location. Medical help was nonexistent, and the few doctors working with the Free Syrian forces could treat only a few of the many wounded. “Danny” said the mortar shelling was continuous and arbitrary and people were dying. Within earshot of the CNN interview, people entrenched in a nearby mosque could be heard weeping and praying in their grief.
“This isn’t something far away, this is real,” said the witness, overwrought with the idea that the world, and the United Nations, were sitting and meeting, “doing nothing,” he said, as these people were dying.
In fact the U.N. Security Council is today debating a resolution of this issue; a vote is expected on Saturday morning (February 4).The move to vote has been accelerated to a degree by the efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been working with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to overcome Russian opposition. The Russians oppose regime change or any military intervention.
The Associated Press confirmed that at least 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in Homs, in what they called the bloodiest episode of the eleven month uprising. The people of Syria are in revolt against President Bashar Assad (photo).
CBS news reported the story on Friday evening, U.S. time, and indicated that the Syrian regime was using tanks and heavy machine guns.