7 killed in regime strikes on besieged Homs neighbourhood

7 killed in regime strikes on besieged Homs neighbourhood
Airstrikes kill seven and wound dozens more in the last rebel-held area in Syria's third city of Homs.
2 min read
29 August, 2016
A Syrian Arab Air Force jet flies over Damascus, June 2016 [Anadolu]

Jets thought to belong to the Syrian government struck the the besieged Al-Waer neighborhood in the city of Homs on Sunday, residents and a monitor said.

According to Reuters, over a dozen airstrikes on the residential area killed at least seven people and injured dozens more civilians.

A woman and a child were also among the dead, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights said. Videos and images also emerged on social media showing children afflicted by burns that activists say were caused by incendiary weapons.

This escalation in attacks came a day after the Damascus suburb of Daraya was evacuated by rebels after relentless bombing and a tough siege.

The strikes were the first of their kind on Homs' rebel-held areas in a year. In December, local leaders and the government agreed a UN-sponsored deal that would see fighters evacuated and the regime take control of the city.
No progress has been seen on this plan, which requires local resistors to surrender their heavy weapons.

Prior to this, a truce in Homs in 2014 allowed for the withdrawal of fighters from the Old City, leaving al-Waer in rebel hands. Since then, the neighbourhood has been choked by a seige enforced by government troops and loyalist militias. This has blocked deliveries of all supplies of aid to the area, save a few UN-led deliveries.

An estimated 50,000 civilians are currently trapped in Al-Waer, alongside several thousand fighters. The seige on Al-Waer is part of what Washington has decried as Damascus' "surrender-or-starve" tactic of beseiging rebel-controlled areas into capitulation or death.