Syrian Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Homs

Forces Target Rebel-Held District in Key City

by Jason Ditz, February 08, 2017

As tanks and artillery forces shelled the area, Syrian warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes against the al-Waer District in the important city of Homs, the main rebel district in the city, which has been under constant siege since 2013, killing at least nine civilians according to locals.

Homs is the third largest city in Syria, behind Damascus and Aleppo. The city has been overwhelmingly held by the government for several years, excepting this one district. With the Syrian military having recently secured Aleppo, it’s unsurprising this would be a new target for them.

In other cases where a single district of a major city was surrounded for such a long time, a new push like today’s would usually be seen as a prelude to a deal to evacuate the rebels, though with rising tensions in rebel-held Idlib Province, there may not be an obvious place to evacuate the rebels to anymore.

Still, President Assad suggested that a “reconciliation” agreement was the goal for the government, adding that he viewed this as the most viable way to ultimately end the civil war. The viability of such deals going forward will be a challenge, but could lead to further consolidation of the territory.

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