Eight killed as Syrian regime airstrikes target rebel-held pocket near Homs

Eight killed as Syrian regime airstrikes target rebel-held pocket near Homs
The Syrian army has targeted a rebel-held pocket north of Homs with airstrikes for the second day running, killing eight people, as residents fear a large-scale escalation.
2 min read
16 April, 2018
Villages in rural Homs were targeted by 28 airstrikes in a single day [Twitter]
Eight civilians were killed in Syrian regime airstrikes against pockets of rebel-held territory in the countryside north of Homs, north east Syria, on Sunday.

Fresh airstrikes continued on Monday, targeting residential areas in rural Homs, as the Assad regime, undeterred by US-led missile strikes in Damascus, escalates its campaign to retake control of the territory. 

Read more: Syria airstrikes: What happened and why?

Sunday also saw fierce clashes between pro-regime militia and opposition fighters as the Assad-loyal militiamen attempt to retake parts of the Western Salamiyah countryside, the eastern fringe of the opposition-held pocket north of Homs.

Factions of the opposition Free Syrian Army said on Monday they destroyed four tanks using anti-tank missiles, in addition to vehicles carrying weapons and ammunition.

Yesterday's airstrikes carried out by the regime targeted the town of al-Rastan and its surrounding villages, and claimed the lives of eight civilians, including women and children, reported The New Arab's sister site al-Araby al-Jadeed.

The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, said the regime carried out 28 air raids on Sunday alone. The group also named one of the strike's victims as Asinat al-Riz, a young girl from a farm near al-Rastan, in a Twitter announcement.

Residents of the opposition-held areas in this pocket of territory located between the northern Syrian cities of Homs and Hama are fearing a large-scale regime military campaign, after state media issued threats warning it intended to oust the rebels from the territory.

The devastating military campaign that virtually annihilated rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee, suggesting the Assad regime will stop at nothing to reclaim all of Syria.