Claimed footage of shelling of Homs today
2110 GMT: What Happened in Haswiyeh? With Bill Neely's arrival in Haswiyeh (see previous update below) we have also received several new updates today. First, let's recap what has happened over the last week.
Two days ago rumors began circulating of a "massacre" in the villages of Hawiyeh,just north of Homs, as well as dozens killed in Houla to the west of Homs. These rumors came at the same time as confirmed reports of heavy shelling of Homs itself, as well as the cities to the north (Talbiseh, Al Rastan). See our initial coverage here, which includes many links to videos and claimed eyewitness claims.
A problem was immediately apparent. The claims made by some activists included beheadings, knife attacks, and summary executions. But the evidence didn't initially show any of this. Instead, it was obvious that the villages had been heavily bombed, likely by aircraft but also possibly by tanks and artillery, and the reports of knife-wielding shabiha and bodies hanging in trees were exaggerated. But with rumors such as these, it was still important to keep an open mind to the possibility that these reports had some merit.