Syria Tries to Restore Peace in Homs, Mass Exodus ReportedWorld | March 6, 2012, Tuesday // 14:44| views
A handout picture made available on March 5 by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian workers cleaning a street at the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria, March 4. Photo by BGNES/EPA
Syrian authorities have deployed construction equipment to try repair the massively damaged city of Homs, as month-long bloodshed has come to a standstill.
After an operation of several weeks against combattants in Homs, Syrian authorities are trying to bring life in the city back to its peaceful routine, reports ITAR-TASS.
Rebels in the Baba Amr neighborhood, site of some of the most fierce fighting, have been defeated, but isolated skirmishes are still continuing in other parts of the city.
At the same time, the BBC reports of a massive exodus of Homs residents to nearby neighboring Lebanon, and a number of atrocities allegedly committed by the Syrian army.
The UN refugee agency said as many as 2,000 people fled in the past two days, writes the BBC.
According to UN data, 70,000 people have been displaced since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March, and that more than 20,000 have fled to Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
The BBC also adds that Syrian authorities have given UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos given permission to visit Syria and wanted unhindered access for humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan is also headed for Syria, after a welcome was extended by embattled President Bashar Al-Assad.
The atrocities, widely reported by Western and Persian Gulf media, are largely based on unconfirmed reports, as journalists have little access to the country.
State run Syrian SANA information agency has denied them, in many cases attributing atrocities to the rebels, such as a case in which a young boy has his troat slit by armed men.
In the States, US Senator and GOP presidential hopeful John McCain spoke in Senate in favor of air strikes against the Syrian government.
A senior source from the cabinet of US President Barack Obama is quoted saying that such strikes can only exacerbate the situation.
At the same time, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syrian authorities of "anti-human actions" and called the international community for more resolve.
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