July 9, 2013
By Ahmed Kwider
Pro-rebel neighborhoods continued to hold out in Homs Tuesday despite heavy bombardment from government troops and near complete devastation of whole sections of the central city.
Around 12-noon local time the Homs LCC reported a wave of surface-to-surface missiles hitting the old neighborhoods of the town with an estimated population of 2,500 residents remaining.
“This was one of the hardest nights, we have been under fire for 19 hours continuously,” said Bebers Telawi.
Map by: Abdulrahman al-Masri
“It looks like they want to burn all of Homs and remove it from the map.”
The Local Coordination Council in Khalidiya announced that the central Homs district near the Khalid Bin al-Walid Mosque was experiencing intense gunfire coming from a cluster of buildings held by government troops.
Mayadin TV, a Pro-Assad channel claimed government troops had surrounded the landmark mosque that it said is being used as a weapons supply depot for opposition fighters.
“Unfortunately there are some Sunni neighborhoods who are participating with the regime in the blockade of the city,” said Muhammad Abu Bilal via Skype from the blockaded Bab Hod district.
“These areas have became a parking for tanks and starting point for operations on Jorat al-Shayah and Al- Krabees,”said Abu Bilal.
State run SANA news reported that government forces entered a 500 meter long tunnel used as a passage for rebels moving rebels weapons between Bab Hod and Jorat al-Shayah.
It also claimed that 350 rebels surrendered themselves and their weapons to a special unit in the city and the army decided to “settle their situation under the condition that they will not go back for using weapons or doing anything affect the stability of the country.”
Hezbollah-run broadcaster Al Manar reported four people killed, and more than 40 injured, in two separate car bombing in the Akremah neighborhood south of the center.
Jabhat a-Nusra claimed responsibility for the blast in the Alawite majority district and in a statement released to media activists claimed “this action was a deterrence and threatening message to Shabiha that are bombing blockaded Homs with all kinds of missiles, mortars, and rockets.”