Iranian artists Emad Ghavidel and Hamed Fard produce a music video for the people of Homs in Syria, where hundreds have died in a regime assault in the last 17 days, "I swear to laments of grieving mothers; I swear to tears of grieving mothers. You will pay for this, Bashar al-Assad":
Entries in Homs (58)
James Miller speaks to an activist in the Inshaat district of Homs in Syria, amidst gunfire and a shaky Skype connection:
"Hello, James? Can you hear me? Yes, I am in Homs, and I'm alive."
Sammy (SamsonHoms on Twitter) lives in the Inshaat district of Homs. He connects to the Internet through a network attached to a satellite, but the connection; it is extremely unstable, leading to frequent breaks in conversation. Sammy is charging his laptop every chance he gets, because his neighborhood only has power between three and four hours a day. Some neighbourhoods, such as Baba Amr, are in worse shape for electricity and communications.
Sammy reports that Homs was heavily shelled last night and this morning, perhaps the worst attack in weeks. Baba Amr, right next to Inshaat, has been hardest hit. As Sammy describes it, Baba Amr has been first in everything --- the first area to protest, the home of the largest protests early in the uprising, the site of a major military campaign in May, and the home of the Free Syrian Army since September or October. For this, it is paying the price.
2221 GMT: For several hours, activists have been reporting a security operation against the town of Taseel, in Daraa province, Syria. LCCS confirms that report, and also posts these details about the condition on the ground there.
Security forces have launched a security operation in the town since last Wednesday up until today. They launched a detention campaign where more than 50 men got arrested; one of them was Dr. Arshad Al-Qaddah. Also, a house-to-house raiding campaign of all the homes, public places in the town was launched. The pharmacies, clinics, commercial shops and private properties were subotaged amid sporadic gunfire and extensive deployment of fully-equipped security members and thugs (Shabeha). Snipers were deployed on the rooftops all around the town.
2210 GMT: Despite the daily bombardment of Homs, Syria, there have been almost nightly rallies such as these in the Qusour district, just a few blocks from some of the areas that have been intensely shelled in recent weeks:
Dr Ali Al-Hazori appeals for help from a field hospital in Bab Amro in Homs (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES)
Amal Hanano writes for Jadaliyya:
Before we hang up, I tell Jafaar to be safe. I tell him that I’ll call him tomorrow. I go to bed only a couple of hours before morning. My head is pounding. Fifty percent of a neighborhood is destroyed, Omar is surrounded by human limbs, Jaafar is disconnected from his friends, Yousef is missing, the people of Baba Amr are asking for safe passage for the women and children before the army enters to round up the men. They are asking for mercy from a merciless regime. The number of dead are in the seventies now. It will be higher when I wake up. People will be dying in my sleep.
Jaafar is right. What you just read will not save lives. It will not stop the attacks on Baba Amr or Idleb or Zabadani or Palmyra or Daraa. It will not change what happened this morning or what will happen tomorrow. It’s just a story of what happened, in a place called Syria, while you were sleeping.
One of Saturday's marches in the Bahraini capital Manama, broken up by police with tear gas and sound grenades (see 1745 GMT)
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2100 GMT: Anti-Assad regime protest in Trafalgar Square, London.
2030 GMT: Two American women accused of aiding anti-government activists deported from Bahrain.
2020 GMT: Higher Revolutionary Council of Syria says that the death toll rises to 67 across the country and the army tries to storm Baba Amro district in Homs.
2000 GMT: It is claimed by Al Arabiya English that Saadi Qaddafi is arrested in Niger.
1925 GMT: According to CNN, the United States is increasing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations over Syria. A senior official says: "There are media reports but we also want to verify exactly what is happening."
1900 GMT: Exchange of fire between two rival factions, the Sunni Muslims and the Alawite sect in Lebanon leaves one from each party dead and 12 wounded.
2249 GMT: With nightfall, solid information from Syria is only harder to come by. However, with power and internet cut in many key areas, like Homs, and Zabadani and Madaya, good information has been hard to verify all day. We've been searching for many hours, for instance, but have not found a single video from Zabadani or Madaya, true testimony to how closed off and isolated those cities have become.
However, at the end of the day, there are two reports that have our attention, two reports which may be significant once day breaks. The first is from the Kafer Souseh district of Damascus, a key area very close to some major government buildings. The LCCS report large explosions in the area, of unknown origin.
The second potentially significant report come from the Irbeen district of Damascus. The CFDPC report that there is currently a gunfight between members of the Free Syrian Army and Assad-loyal troops. This video that they share shows the gunfire:
A call for help from Sheikh Ra'ed Al-Juri in Baba Amr in Homs, asking when the killing will stop
Just weeks ago, the Syrian regime was losing territory at an alarming rate to the insurgents of the Free Syrian Army. Last Friday, the FSA captured some key checkpoints and many pro-Assad soldiers.
Five days later, after a ruthless bombardment by regime forces, several hundreds are dead.
The military assault is designed to send messages. To the citizens of Syria, they are being warned that their support of the opposition and the Free Syrian Army is not acceptable and will be punished with extreme prejudice. To the insurgents, the message is simple is that you cannot win, for you are alone. To the members of the Syrian military, the message is defect, and this is the fate you will meet.
The question is, who is listening? The protests, even in Homs, continued on Wednesday. There were yet more reports of defections, particularly in Idlib Province in the northwest. Despite the onslaught, there is defiance is the voices of many, people who no longer believe they have any choice but to fight. For in this Syria, innocent bystanders can just as easily be killed by artillery shells as members of the armed resistance.
Bab Amro, a neighbourhood in Homs, has been the site of both protest and violence for months, as regime forces tried to suppress the growing uprising. In recent days, however, there has been a renewed assault by the Syrian military, as hundreds have perished in Homs.
Sights and sounds from Bab Amro today:
Sounds of the overnight assault on Homs
See also Syria Snap Analysis: What the Massacre in Homs Means br>
Syria 1st-Hand Video: Inside Homs Before the Massacre br>
Syria Video Special: The Dead, Dying, and Injured in Homs br>
Friday's Egypt, Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Triple Feature of Protest
Eyad Ebrahim, one of the organiser, said, Everybody is worried. We don't want to see violence on the streets, from police or civilians. We want people to be able to talk freely and express their opinions. We need to move beyond this social tension because even if we have a political problem, there is no need for the community to disintegrate."
"A fundamental solution to the political problem is needed to end the vicious circle," said Omar Al Shehabi, who heads the Gulf Centre for Policy Studies, citing unrest going back decades. "I don't know any home or family that has not been affected or had someone imprisoned. All parts of the population need to have a role in writing the constitution. The constitution of 2002 was written behind closed doors."http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/04/us-bahrain-dialogue-idUSTRE8130OM20120204
2116 GMT: Claimed footage of the regime troops captured by the Free Syrian Army in the Khalidiya and Bayada sections of Homs: