Friday, December 9, 2011

'Massacre' feared brewing in Syrian city of Homs

Syria's leading opposition movement warned Friday of an impending government "massacre" designed to crush activists in the city of Homs, a metropolis that has emerged as a center of anti-regime unrest.

The Syrian National Council said military troops and vehicles have surrounded the western city and thousands of troops are manning more than 60 checkpoints just inside the city.

"These are all signs of a security crackdown operation that may reach the level of a total invasion of the city," the council said in a news release. It warned that a "massive number of casualties" could occur.

"Evidence received from reports, videos and information obtained by activists on the ground in Homs indicate that the regime is paving the way to commit a massacre in order to extinguish the Revolution in Homs and to discipline, by example, other Syrian cities that have joined the Revolution," the council said.

Homs suffered more deaths on Friday, with at least 18 slain, and at least 19 others were killed during disturbances elsewhere across Syria, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an activist group. It said women, children and dissident soldiers were among those killed. more