Deadly Shelling Resumes in Syria

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Deadly shelling and heavy fighting have resumed in the city of Homs, a Syrian opposition stronghold.

Media reports say heavy fighting with artillery and mortar shelling, as well as firing from helicopters, machine guns and smaller arms were in Rastan and Talbiseh, north of the city of Homs.

In Talbiseh, the Free Syrian Army reportedly captured Syrian Army soldiers where the impact from heavy artillery shelling and machine gun firing was heard and seen over the neighbourhood of Khaldiyeh in the city centre.”

With the recent escalation of violence in Homs, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for the Syrian Crisis Kofi Annan expressed grave concerned by the latest reports of violence coming out of the Middle Eastern country.

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Kofi Annan (front), Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Syria, briefs on the situation in that country to an informal gathering of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Mr. Annan is particularly worried about the recent shelling in Homs as well as reports of the use of mortar, helicopters and tanks in the town of Al-Haffa, Lattakia.

Reports say there are indications that a large number of civilians are trapped in these towns.

Mr. Annan reiterates his “demands that the parties take all steps to ensure that civilians are not harmed, and further demands that entry of the UN military observers be allowed to the town of Al-Haffa immediately.”

In addition, United Nations observers in Syria are concerned over the escalation of violence in the city of Homs.

UNSMIS says they received reports of a large number of civilians, including women and children trapped inside the town, and are trying to mediate their evacuation.

The observers have not yet been able to confirm reports of large number of casualties, according to reports.

UNSMIS calls on all sides to stop the killing and human rights abuses, to ensure the protection of civilians and to respect international law.

Earlier this month, with the crisis reaching a “tipping point” after the massacre in the Syrian village of Houla, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan warned of the growing sectarian aspect of the crisis in Syria.

Mr. Annan asserted that the conflict is already having serious consequences in the region.

He called on the international community to work together to push for the implementation of the six-point peace plan.

On his remarks before the Arab Ministerial Committee on Syria in Doha, Mr. Annan noted that the crisis is having regional spillover, in the form of tensions and incidents across the border, abductions of nationals and foreigners, and refugee flows to neighbouring states.

Mr. Annan urged President Assad to release detainees, fully open up to international humanitarian assistance, and allow people to express their views freely in peaceful protest to show his seriousness to the Syrian people and the international community.

He said the time is coming for a serious review. The international community must decide what it does next he added.

He noted that the international community must work together more effectively to push for implementation of the six point plan in full.

Massacre in Syria’s Houla village in the early hours of 26th of May has reportedly killed 108 civilians, including over 30 children.

Reports say artillery and tank shells were fired in the Syrian village killing hundreds of civilians.

The violence took place in and around the town of Houla, near Homs, after an anti-government protest.

The Security Council voiced condemnation of the recent massacre of men, women and children inHoula.

In addition, the United States of America also expressed condemnation in the massacre in the Syrian village of Haoula.

And the United States will work with the international community to intensify the pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end, she added.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 10,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Australia has expelled the Syrian Charge d’Affairs and one other diplomat. Other countries followed suit, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy expelling Syrian Ambassadors from their countries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.