At least 35 people have been killed in a renewed effort by Syrian regime forces to regain control of the province of Homs in the center of the country. The new offensive to aims to retake some territories controlled by the Free Syrian Army.
The attacks focused on the city of Quseir, near the border with Lebanon, where at least six people died on Sunday, according to activists. Three others died in the bombing of Talbiseh, north of the city of Homs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
"Mortar shells have hit Quseir," said Abu al-Huda, an activist in the city. He said that women and children, holed up for days in the basements of buildings, do not dare go out.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army, backed by helicopter gunships, on Sunday again bombed regions around the port city of Latakia in the northwest of the country, sending reinforcements to quell the rebels, now holed up for days on Heffa heights.
These battles erupted last Tuesday and killed at least 58 people while injuring 200 among the government forces, according to the opposition.
The official SANA news agency said that "terrorist groups" attacked public and private institutions in Heffa on Saturday and committed "atrocious" crimes against civilians, including burning down a hospital and driving the inhabitants out from their homes. SANA added that the army killed a number of rebels and captured others. The opposition said six children are among the 10 people killed Saturday by a shell during the fighting.
In addition, thousands of people attended the funeral Sunday of nine people killed last night in Maaret al-Numan in the province of Idlib (west). An amateur video released by the opposition shows the procession, with residents paying tribute to the victims whose bodies were transported on makeshift stretchers.
In related news regarding syria crisis, in an interview with the CNN television network, Republican Sen.said that Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries keep supplying arms to the Free Syrian Army in defiance of world community. McCain urged the U.S. administration to provide direct military aid to the Syrian rebels.
Moreover, Iran’s Fars news agency reports referring to the Syrian media say that the Free Syrian Army have received chemical weapons from Libya and are training how to use combat poisonous gases in their camps located in Turkey.
The report could not be confirmed via an independent source.