Wednesday, April 02, 2014

SYRIA - City of Homs, As the World Fiddles

As the World fiddles, Syria burns.

"A look inside the city of Homs, central battlefield of Syria’s war" PBS NewsHour 4/1/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  We turn now to Syria, where three years of civil war have left more than 140,000 people dead.  The city of Homs was once seen as the capital of the revolution.  Now it’s mostly controlled by Assad government forces.

We take a look inside the besieged city with a report from Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News.

LINDSEY HILSUM, ITN:  Everyone’s a suspect, so the soldiers search each car before letting it through.  There’s not much beauty near the front line in Homs.  Maybe that’s why they have decorated their checkpoint barrier.

The lieutenant walked me through the neighborhood of Bab Sparr.  He didn’t want to show his face.  The last battle, he told me, will be very soon.  They’re ready for it.  The soldiers say that this is as far as we can come.  The front line is just beyond those buildings, less than 50 yards away.

It’s quiet now during the daytime, but there’s still fighting every night.  What the soldiers say is the United Nations has taken the civilians out.  It’s only fighters in there, so they want to go in and finish the job.  Today, the soldiers are relaxing.  They seem pretty confident.  Two years ago, government forces pummeled rebel-held suburbs in Homs with artillery.  Then they starved them out.

When the U.N. evacuated civilians from Old Homs in February, scores of hungry rebel fighters came too.  Less than 1,000 are believed to be holding out.

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