Bashar al-Assad’s government rained more than 200 bombs on the opposition-controlled city of Homs on Wednesday, killing an unconfirmed 27 people and demolishing homes. The Russian and Chinese governments maintained their policy of nonintervention while leaders of Western and Arab nations scrambled to decide how, if at all, to get involved.
On the question of intervention, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said: “We of course condemn all violence regardless of its source, but one cannot act like an elephant in a china shop. Help them, advise them—limit, for instance, their ability to use weapons—but do not interfere under any circumstances.”
China decried criticism of its vote against a failed U.N. resolution calling for the resignation of Assad—whose regime, according to the U.N., has killed an estimated 6,200 Syrian civilians as of Feb. 5 in an effort to suppress an uprising—as “extremely irresponsible” and “totally unacceptable.” —ARK
Tanks and heavy artillery were used on an unprecedented scale, according to witnesses. More than 200 rockets fell in the space of three hours on just one part of Homs, the opposition-controlled suburb of Baba Amr, residents said.
One activist, Raji, speaking from a basement inside Baba Amr, said Syrian forces were now using a heavier artillery round with devastating effect. In addition to the 27 people killed , he said many people were lying dead under the rubble of their houses. There were also reports that 18 premature babies had died in hospital after power cuts caused their incubators to fail, according to the BBC. State TV denied the reports.
AP / Local Coordination Committees in Syria
A house damaged by the Syrian government’s shelling of the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs on Wednesday.