Syrian government troops are advancing apace in the city of Homs, looking to break a lengthy stalemate in a city which has been contested off and on for over a year, and advancing into some neighborhoods that have been dominated by the rebels for that whole period.
The increasingly rebels are reporting that they are running out of arms and supplies, which is par for the course, and are demanding an immediate influx of arms from the United States and Europe to keep the city from falling back under government control.
While all the predictions of doom aimed at selling the US on arming them is nothing new, rebels are also showing videos of themselves with explosive belts pledging to detonate if the mosque that is at the center of the city falls to the government.
The rebels are citing the lack of arms from the West and the lack of support from other rebel factions elsewhere in the country behind this desperate measure, saying that these are increasingly the only weapons that they have left, and vowing to detonate them against troops as the center of the city falls.
The two sides have been trading artillery fire for months, and reports on the ground are that massive amounts of damage have been done to the city, with over 60 percent of the buildings destroyed or too damaged to safely occupy. Once a city of 650,000 people, Homs like faces a long period of reconstruction if and when the fighting ends.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Military's 'Prime Focus' Will Be Competing With Russia, China - January 19th, 2018
- NGO: US-Led Coalition Civilian Killings Tripled in Iraq and Syria in 2017 - January 19th, 2018
- Russia FM: US Creating 'Alternative Bodies of Authority' in Syria - January 19th, 2018
- US: Turkish Attack on Syrian Kurds 'Destabilizing' - January 19th, 2018
- Turkey Escalates Shelling, Says 'No Turning Back' From Syria Invasion - January 19th, 2018