Washington, April 19: The US is “deeply concerned” by the situation in Homs, the US State Department spokeswoman said Friday, while condemning the Syrian government’s attacks on Homs’s old city.
“We strongly condemn the regime’s breaking of the cessation of hostilities, and its brutal assault against residents of old city Homs,” Xinhua quoted State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as telling media.
The remarks came as the Syrian government troops launched an offensive recently against rebel-held districts in the old quarter of Homs, triggering retaliatory attacks by rebels to fend off the government’s advance.
On Friday, a booby-trapped car ripped through a government- controlled neighbourhood of Homs, killing at least 10 people and injuring more than 20. Neither the Syrian government nor the rebels claimed responsibilities for such attacks, and there was no way to verify it.
Terming the government’s bombardments and encirclement of the city “a despicable example of its starve and surrender battlefield approach”, the US official urged the Syrian government “to cease its attacks on the old city, and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance”.
The official also accused the Syrian government of “intentionally increasing the desperation of the Syrian people in its all-out bid to retain personal power”.
“We will continue to draw international attention to this catastrophic situation until the suffering of the Syrian people ends,” she said.
Homs is the third largest province of Syria.