ACTIVIST GROUPS REPORT that at least 12 people have been killed in the Syrian city of Homs today as Bashar Assad’s troops continue to shell its neighbourhoods.
The Local Coordination Committees said that a makeshift hospital in Baba Amr was hit this morning as the death toll continues to rise.
Disturbing video footage has appeared on social media sites over the weekend as organisations described Saturday’s bombardment of Homs as the deadliest incident of the uprising.
Activists claim that the death toll reached at least 200 but as the regime denied any incident and no foreign journalists are permitted to report from the area, it is impossible to independently verify the information.
After the weekend of violence, the US has said that diplomatic pressure must be increased on the Assad regime.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US will work outside the United Nations to support Syria. She called the Security Council “neutered” after Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for change over the weekend.
More than 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising against the Assad regime began in March. His opponents now fear that the long-term leader will feel protected now that he seems to have the backing of Moscow for his crackdown on anti-government protests.
Emboldened by the veto, Assad could escalate his violent campaign and an all-out civil war could break out.
Assad continues to assert his claim that his troops are restoring “stability and security” and confronting “all forms of terrorism”. He blames terrorist groups and armed gangs, as well as foreign influences for the current violence and killings.