Syrian army defeats rebels in Homs, UNICEF appeals to save women, children

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-4 8:52:07

The Syrian army eliminated rebel groups in the central province of Homs on Saturday, as the UNICEF warned of the deteriorating situation of women and children in the hard-hit province.

According to the state-run SANA news agency, unites of the Syrian army killed and wounded members of the armed opposition groups in a number of districts in Homs and foiled an attempt to detonate a booby-trapped car in al-Hisn town.

The army also destroyed two tunnels used by the rebels to smuggle weapons and ammunition, said SANA, adding that an anti- aircraft cannon and ammunition were destroyed in the town of Talbiseh.

The army pursued the rebels and inflicted heavy losses upon them in Bab-Hud, al-Waer, Joret al-Shayah and al-Qarabis neighborhoods, the report said.

In New York, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned of the deteriorating situation of women and children in Homs, saying in a statement that "the situation of women and children in the Syrian city of Homs is rapidly deteriorating, with some 400, 000 civilians now displaced in the district of Al Waer, living in partially constructed buildings, schools and other public buildings."

It said that the situation in al-Waer has recently worsened with daily reports of intense clashes and rocket and mortar attacks that cause many casualties.

"UNICEF has been aiding partners to distribute nutrition and basic hygiene supplies while striving to maintain sufficient water for the innocent people caught up in the fighting, the majority of whom are women and children. But new checkpoints are preventing more supplies from entering the area. Water and electricity is still available for now but vegetables, milk and other essentials are in increasingly short supply. Our own emergency supplies will run out within days," the statement said.

The UNICEF also called on all parties of the conflict to immediately grant safe access to the afflicted families and to spare the women and children the suffering of war.

Homs province is witnessing intense fighting between the rebels and government troops that seem determent to route the rebels out of the strategic province due to its important location in central Syria and its closeness to the Lebanese borders.

According to a UN report, more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's 28-month-old crisis and about 1.7 million have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

Posted in: Mid-East

blog comments powered by Disqus