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Regime forces squeeze al-Waar to bring Homs district to its knees – activists

‘KNEEL OR STARVE’: Regime snipers comb the streets as government forces […]

28 October 2013

‘KNEEL OR STARVE’: Regime snipers comb the streets as government forces fire artillery and rocket attacks on Homs’ al-Waar district on Sunday. Al-Waar is considered strategic as it sits on the highway linking Damascus, Hama, Tartus and the Lebanese city of Tripoli. Al-Waar is now densely populated with displaced Syrians from other parts of Homs, particularly the Old City, who fled to what was formerly a safe corner of it.

Al-Waar is surrounded by military installations that since the war began have been turned into military barracks for the regime. This western district of Homs has only one port and one checkpoint, controlled by the regime, which regulates movement in and out. The checkpoint sits adjacent to the Shiite village of Mazraa village, which is loyal to the regime. The opposition maintains that Mazraa serves as the headquarters of Hezbollah guerrillas and Iranian troops, in addition to the regime ones.

Regime forces closed the Mazraa village checkpoint on October 8, thereby blocking the entry or exit of food and people. What was left at the place of the checkpoint was a sign reading “kneel or starve.”

Violent clashes continued Monday between the regime’s units against the rebel fighters in al-Waar district in addition to the bombing of civilian residences, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The regime is trying to finalize its plans to displace from Homs what is left of the Sunnis, this is why the regime is targeting it,” said Homs-based activist Abu al-Feda.

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