Syrian forces poised to attack Idlib province, say activists
Syrian government forces Wednesday appeared poised to launch a wide-scale attack against the rebel province of Idlib, activists in the region told dpa.
"The military mobilization around the province indicates that this brutal regime is preparing for perpetrating a massacre in Idlib as it did in Homs," Rami Idlibi, a Syrian activist, said.
Idlib, which is near the Syrian border with Turkey, has been the stronghold of opposition activists and army defectors since the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad started in March 2011.
Meanwhile, government forces Wednesday continued their shelling attacks on the central province of Homs, mainly in the towns of Rastan and al- Kussair, for the third consecutive day, opposition activists told dpa.
"Since the early hours of the morning, sounds of exploding shells and machine gun fire have been heard," Abu Imad, a Syrian activist, said.
"The shelling makes it hard for civilians to escape to safety in the nearby Lebanese areas. The Syrian regime forces are shelling the mountainous roads, rivers and bridges used by the refugees," he added.
The United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is expected to arrive in Syria later on Wednesday to press al-Assad's government to end the violence and allow humanitarian aid into the battered areas.