• Syrian forces pound Homs

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    BEIRUT: Syrian army air strikes in the central city of Homs on Sunday killed three civilians, as regime forces pressed forward with a new bid to to retake several rebel-controlled districts, a watchdog said.

    “Syrian warplanes carried out air strikes on the Old City of Homs a little while ago, destroying a house and causing three deaths,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    “Regime forces also carried out heavy shelling of the districts of Khaldiyeh and the Old City, and the sound of explosions could be heard,” the group added.

    Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said at least three civilians, a woman and two children, were killed in the air strikes in the Old City, and that dozens of people had been injured since the army assault began on Saturday.

    “The army is continuing its attempt to enter Khaldiyeh, but it hasn’t succeeded so far,” he said.

    On Saturday, the group said regime forces were engaged in “unprecedented” bombardment of several parts of Homs, including Khaldiyeh, Bab Hud, Hamidiyeh and Bustan al-Diwan.

    A security source in Damascus confirmed fierce fighting was underway in Homs.

    “Military operations never stopped in Homs, but their pace increases according to priorities,” Rahman said.

    “What’s important is to cleanse those neighbourhoods of Homs that are in the hands of armed terrorists, particularly Khaldiyeh, Hamidiyeh and the Old City,” he added.

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