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Topic - Baba Amr
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan left Syria on Sunday without a deal to end the bloody year-old conflict as regime forces mounted a new assault on rebel strongholds in the north.
Syria's deputy oil minister announced his defection in an online video that emerged Thursday, making him the highest ranking civilian official to abandon the regime since the uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted a year ago.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first time Wednesday revealed that the United States is preparing basic plans to attack Syria to stop President Bashar Assad from killing unarmed protesters against the government.
The U.N. humanitarian chief got the first look inside the shattered district of Baba Amr on Wednesday but found most people already had fled the rebellious neighborhood in Homs following a devastating military siege.
Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring Lebanon on Monday said they feared they would be slaughtered in their own homes as government forces hunted down opponents in a brutal offensive against the opposition stronghold of Homs.
Red Cross teams began handing out food and blankets in central Homs province on Sunday after days of delays, helping families who fled the besieged neighborhood of Baba Amr and took shelter in nearby villages.
Syria blocked a Red Cross convoy Friday from delivering badly needed food, medical supplies and blankets to a rebellious neighborhood of Homs cut off by a monthlong siege, and activists accused regime troops who overran the shattered district of execution-style killings and a scorched-earth campaign.
Syrian opposition fighters pulled out of a stronghold in the restive western city of Homs on Thursday, saying they did not have enough weapons to defend the civilians.
Syrian troops advanced Wednesday on a key rebel-held neighborhood in Homs, and an official vowed it would be "cleansed," raising fears of a ground operation to retake all of the central city, which has become a symbol of the uprising to oust President Bashar Assad.
A Spanish journalist who was trapped in Homs escaped to Lebanon on Wednesday, as the government threatened a new offensive to "cleanse" a rebel-held neighborhood of the besieged Syrian city.
Syrian troops advanced Wednesday on a key rebel-held area in the central city of Homs, where three Western journalists are among 100,000 residents trapped by a government assault that has raged for weeks. The forces appeared to be starting a ground operation to retake the area that has become a symbol of the uprising to oust President Bashar Assad.
Syrian rebels spirited a British photographer who had been trapped in the opposition stronghold of Homs out of the country Tuesday after he was trapped for days under fierce government shelling that killed 13 of those trying to save him, an activist group said.
Syrian rebels smuggled a wounded British journalist out of the besieged central city of Homs on Tuesday and whisked him to safety in neighboring Lebanon, activist groups said.
A Syrian activist group reported Monday that 138 people have been killed across the country including in the embattled city of Homs where a team from the Syrian arm of the Red Cross brought aid to one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.
Syria's authoritarian regime held a referendum on a new constitution Sunday, a gesture by President Bashar Assad to placate those seeking his ouster. But the opposition deemed it an empty gesture, and the West immediately dismissed the vote as a "sham."
Another Baba Amr activist who also fled to Lebanon said he passed up a chance to study medicine in Germany so he could work to topple Mr. Assad.
"I used to want to go to a developed country, but someday, after Assad falls, Syria will be like that. But we'll build it ourselves," he said.