Syrian Rebels Withdraw From Homs, Syrian Army Takes Over

Syrian rebel forces withdrew from the Bab Amr district of the central city of Homs today in what they said was a “tactical withdrawal.” Government forces quickly moved in and say they are now in control of the district, which has been the target of heavy shelling for 27 days. Activists reports that at least 27 people in Homs have died so far on Thursday.

Reporting from neighboring Lebanon, the BBC‘s Jim Muir said that the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA)’s withdrawal is “obviously by agreement between the two sides, as has happened elsewhere in Syria, to avoid a final showdown.” According to a statement posted online in the name of the Baba Amr brigade of the FSA, the fighters did not have enough weapons to protect the remaining 4,000 residents of Bab Amr. The statement also warned the government not to take revenge on the civilians who remain in Bab Amr.

In an effort to coordinate the various anti-government groups that have formed during the Syrian uprising, the exile political opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) announced that it is forming a military bureau. However, the FSA, which is the largest military group, is refusing to accept the SNC’s authority in a sign, says the BBC, of “evidence of deep splits within the opposition.”

The continuing deaths of civilians and the unrest throughout Syria certainly bring into question the results of a February 26 referendum on a draft constitution. The state news agency reported that the referendum had won 89.4 percent approval for a new constitution that calls for the creation of other political parties besides the ruling Ba’ath Party. The president would be limited to two seven-year terms, but this change would be instituted only after President Bashar al-Assad’s current term expires in 2014

The foreign ministers of the six Gulf Arab states are planning to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to “express disappointment with the Russian stance.” Russia and China have vetoed two United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that Assad step down and have just voted against a UN proposal to accuse Syria of “systematic violations” against its citizens and requesting that aid agencies be able to enter the country.

As the New York Times says, while the Syrian army has “overwhelming strength in arms,” it has nonetheless been “hard-pressed to deploy all the units it needs to put down the fires of the uprising” that has become endemic throughout the country. The government seems to be following a strategy of addressing rebellious cities one at a time and is now expected to turn its attention to suppressing the city of Hama and Idlib in the north; the last-mentioned city’s villages have said that they are free of the government.

Previous Care2 Coverage

A “Farce” of a Referendum Held in Syria As Violence…

Turkey’s Jewish Narrative: Tolerance With A Dark Side

UN Accuses Syria of Crimes Against Humanity; Homs Under Siege



Map of Syria by Tonemgub2010 via Wikimedia Commons


ewoud k.
ewoud k5 years ago

Just like his father did thirty years ago Assad is frightening his population, killing by numbers, eradicating (parts of) towns -his father killed about 20.000-, just to keep his population "calm".

Thirty years ago the internet didn't exist, and things passed rather unnoticed, nowadays things like this get known rather quickly.

As long as Russia and China support the Assad regime and the region is so called "risky", and therefore needs a "strong government" the UN won't do much to stop this killings -unfortunately.

History will tell.

Sian R.
Sian R5 years ago

Thank you Kristina for a balanced and non-emotive report at last.

To those who would claim Syria is a 'terrorist' country - first examine your own. I was in Syria late last year. The vast majority of the people support Assad (though many don't like the government as a whole) and just want to get on with their lives. Just like you and me.

daniel casey
daniel casey5 years ago

Thomas M, Which 'terrorist' organizations would you be talking about? And by "They train terrorists" Are you talking about the Syrian government?

Hermon Mihranian

I hope soon peace will come in Syria finaly.

Neil A.
Neil A5 years ago

We can hope that Assad(assasinad) & cronies get their just deserts or are tried but they deserve something very very bad. I hope Russia & China learn from the error of their ways.
It was a pity no nearby Neighbours could not have bombed the tanks of the murderous army, as I have often said soldiers must not alwas obey illegal orders & have no excuse for murder & should know they may be tried

Nelson Baker
Nelson Baker5 years ago

May God help the Syrian people.

Max M.
Max M5 years ago

This will go down as the day the world sanctioned murder.

Marianna B M.


Nicole O.
Nicole O5 years ago

this has been going on far too long they are killing everyone

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago

very sad what those people are going through, the UN is useless, all they do is urge Assad to step down o.O