Prelude to the end: the Homs Truce

File:Destruction in Homs (4).jpg
The Bab Dreeb area of downtown Homs //
From Wikipedia: Bo yaser. Homs 2/8/12 // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

A UN-brokered truce in Homs is near (or past) its original end time, though evacuations have continued. I wrote about the situation as it existed last week. Over 1,000 civilians have moved out of the last rebel-head pockets of central Homs. Tuesday the flow of aid and refugees stopped entirely, and men near fighting age have been detained and their ultimate fate is unknown- whether a brief interrogation or an accusation of being a rebel fighter. International groups have reason to be concerned, given abundant evidence that civilians and fighters alike have suffered state-sanctioned torture and execution.

With the last remnants starving and vastly outnumbered, the bloody government victory in Homs could have larger implications. With Homs ‘pacified’ and depopulated, resources could be used to retake other cities that have split control. Whether the various anti-government factions can prevent Assad regime gains remains to be seen.

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