Syrian Opposition Claims Massive Deaths in Homs, Clashes Reported in Daraa

Turkish PM Aims to Press Russia Against Syria

Violence has continued in the major protest city of Homs today. Syrian opposition factions claim 100 civilians were¬†killed in an offensive that the Syrian state media describes as targeting “armed terrorist groups.”

Elsewhere in the country, a new offensive has been launched in the far southern city of Daraa. The opposition termed it an “onslaught” on the scale of Homs, though indications are that it is targeting growing defections to the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The latest upswing in violence comes as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan heads to Russia to speak with President Dmitry Medvedev. Erdogan has been calling for international intervention against Syria, while Russia has been opposing such intervention and trying to negotiate a settlement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the reports of massive civilian casualties in Homs, saying there was no evidence of civilians being targeted by artillery fire. Since the Arab League has withdrawn all monitors from the nation, such evidence would indeed prove elusive.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.