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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale
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 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.
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 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.
The Assad regime on Saturday continued to ignore international calls to end the violence.
An American reporter and a French photographer were among 39 people killed Wednesday in the flash-point Syrian city of Homs, a key target in President Bashar Assad's brutal crackdown on the 11-month-old anti-government uprising.
But two French journalists, Edith Bouvier and William Daniels, remain in Baba Amr, she said.