Syrian opposition activists reported a new government offensive late Friday in the troubled city of Homs, with scores of possible casualties.
The Local Coordinating Committees, an opposition coalition, said the tank-led assault was concentrated in Homs’ Khaldiyeh neighborhood. There was no independent confirmation of the fighting. Opposition groups say more than 200 people were killed in the assault.
“This is the worst attack of the uprising,” Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the Associated Press.
Homs, Syria’s third-most populous city, has been the hardest hit in more than 10 months of rebellion. The Homs province accounts for as many as one-third of those killed, according to opposition activists.
The reported attack came on the 30th anniversary of the massacre at Hama, when Syrian forces slaughtered more than 10,000 people, according to human rights activists. Speaking of the massacre had been taboo in Syria for years, but it has become a rallying cry in the rebellion against President Bashar Assad.
The assault also came at a tense time for the international debate over Syria. Russia has rejected the latest United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a new government. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is slated to meet with the Russian foreign minister in Munich on Saturday, hoping to push for an agreement.
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles and Patrick McDonnell in Beirut
Photo: A young boy holds up a sign during an anti-regime demonstration in a Syrian village 15 miles southwest of Homs. Credit: Alessio Romenzi / Agence France Presse / Getty Images