Syrian forces bombarded opposition-held neighbourhoods in Homs with rocket and mortar fire on Thursday,activists said,as divided world powers struggled to find a way to end the violence.
The United Nations chief condemned the ferocity of the government assault on the heart of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that broke out nearly a year ago and is getting bloodier by the day. I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs,with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighbourhoods,is a grim harbinger of things to come, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said after briefing the Security Council in New York.
The Syrian Revolution Coordinating Commission said 30 civilians in Homs were killed in bombardments on Thursday morning on mainly Sunni Muslim neighbourhoods that have been the focus of attacks by the government forces led largely by members of Assads Alawite religious minority.
A Syrian doctor,Mohammed,struggling to treat the wounded at a field clinic in a mosque,launched an emotional video appeal on YouTube for the world to stop the killing and send aid.
Standing next to a body on a table,he said: We appeal to the international community to help us transport the wounded. We wait for them here to die in mosques. I appeal to the UN and international humanitarian organisations to stop the rockets from being fired on us.
The US said it was considering ways to get food and medicine to civilians a move that would deepen international involvement in a conflict with wide geopolitical dimensions.