Assad's air force strike population centers in Syria's Rastan
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Assad's air force strike population centers in Syria's Rastan

Damascus : Syria | Mar 04, 2012 at 4:28 AM PST
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Assad's air force strike population centers in Syria's Rastan

On Sunday human rights activists said that Syria's Presdient Assad had ordered the Syrian military to begin air strikes to the city of Rastan as "clean-up operations" continued in the city of Homs, particularly in the restive Baba Amro quarter, Haaretz news reported.

At least 37 were reported dead on Saturday, including 14 members of government forces in clashes with deserters near Deraa (south), according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.

Meanwhile, Syrian forces have continued to prevent a Red Cross convoy from delivering aid to the civilian population of the Bab Amro neighbourhood of Homs. Officers say operations to round up armed rebels are still under way.

ICRC spokesman Sean Maguire told Britain's Sky News that the civilians in Bab Amro are languishing without food, water or power supply. Dozens are in need of urgent medical help.

Moreover, China has urged all parties in Syria to stop "unconditionally" the violence and welcomed any humanitarian intervention, while the Red Cross was still trying to get into Homs.

A senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official has urged the Syrian government and other relevant parties to stop immediately, completely and unconditionally all acts of violence, particularly violence against innocent civilians," reported the official Chinese news agency.

Syria, however, also reiterated that it refuses any foreign interference under "humanitarian" pretexts.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Syrian authorities were committing "a crime" by prohibiting the entry of humanitarian aid and urged the international community to respond to "atrocities" made by the regime.

In related news, the body of American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlick, killed Feb. 22 during a bombing of Baba Amro, Homs, left Saturday night Damascus for Paris, France's ambassador to Damascus Eric Chevallier told the AFP.

A Jordanian news website reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a secret meeting with the heads of the Syrian army last Thursday, has ordered the military to hit Israel with a barrage of missiles should there be any foreign intervention in Syria. The report added that an operations room has been opened in Damascus and that it is continuously manned by officers from Syria , Iran, and Hezbollah, all of whom coordinate their military operations in the event of external military intervention in Syria.

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saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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