Assad forces enter rebel quarter of homs city
The opposition forces withdrew from the quarter because they lacked weapons and ammunition, al-arabia reported. At least 17 civilians and 12 soldiers are reported to have been killed in the fighting.
Opponents of president baschar al-assad called on friendly states to supply weapons. A newly formed military council should organize distribution. After the UN general assembly, the human rights council in geneva also condemned the assad regime for its continued violence against its own people.
Baba amro has been under constant fire for almost a month. The quarter paid to the main centers of resistance against assad. Syrian activists reported artillery attacks and casualty-filled battles between attacking forces and free syrian army deserters on thursday.
Syrian state television reported 90 percent of rebel quarter in hands of fighting forces. The army is searching the neighborhood for fighters who could still offer resistance. The international committee of the red cross (ICRC) was allowed by the damascus regime to provide aid in baba amro once the neighborhood was under full control of the fighting forces.
"The icrc and syrian red crescent have the green light to go to baba amro on friday to provide food and medical aid and to extract people," icrc spokesman salih dabbikeh told dpa in damascus.
The syrian opposition, which initially protested as a nonviolent movement, is increasingly turning to military force in its resistance to the regime. The head of the syrian national council (SNC), burhan ghaliun, told the press in paris that the SNC had set up a military council. His goal, however, was not to wage a burger war. Rather, they want to prevent chaos.
Ghaliun said: "there are states that have said they will supply weapons to the opposition". To prevent this from happening directly and without control, everything is to be done through this council."In the past few days, representatives of the arab ol monarchies in particular had been thinking aloud about arming deserters in syria.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of the arab league, nabil al-arabi, stressed that the league had not approved the arming of the opposition. Instead, the league is working on a political solution while trying to persuade the government to call a cease-fire to allow for humanitarian aid.
In geneva, the UN human rights council strongly condemned the attacks by syrian government forces on civilians and threatened the commanders with criminal penalties. The assad regime has been accused of arbitrary executions, the killing of demonstrators, human rights activists and journalists, and torture, among other things. Sexual violence, the mistreatment of children, and the obstruction of medical assistance were also denounced.
37 of the council’s 47 member states voted in favor of the resolution, three voted against, and other states abstained or did not participate. Russia, which had unsuccessfully tried to prevent the syria debate, rejected the resolution as expected. China and cuba also voted no.
Decisions of the human rights council, where no veto is possible, are not binding under international law. The assad regime has already been condemned by a majority of the UN general assembly. Even the enforcement of this decision cannot be forced in view of the blockade in the security council by china and russia.
After the USA, great britain also closed its embassy in damascus. All british diplomats have been withdrawn from syria. Auben minister william hague justified the move with the "deterioration of the security situation.
The new syria special envoy from the united nations and the arab league, kofi annan, announced he would travel to damascus as soon as possible. A date has not yet been set. Annan said in new york that he does not know if he will meet the president. He wants to try to involve assad in a solution of the conflict.