Syria’s opposition has called for international intervention in the central city of Homs, one of the focal points of the country’s uprising, calling it a “humanitarian disaster area”.
The appeal, issued by the Turkey-based Syrian National Council, comes as activists reported that at least eight people were killed across the country on Monday, including two children, in an ongoing crackdown by security forces.
Activists said that at least five of the dead were in Homs as hundreds of residents protested against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, adding that government troops stormed several areas and made house-to-house arrests.
Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, said: “People there are trying to tell the government that they will not succumb and they will continue to protest until they topple the regime…despite the heavy presence of the security forces.”
More than 110 people have been killed in the past week in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees activist network.
In a statement, the Syrian National Council urged the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and the Arab League to act “to stop the massacre committed by the regime”.
It also called on the international community to send “Arab and international observers, instantly, to the city of Homs to oversee the situation on the ground, and prevent the regime from continuing to commit brutal massacres.”
The Arab League has called a meeting in Cairo next Saturday on what it calls Syria’s failure to implement a peace plan, announced by the body last week following talks with Syrian officials.
The League said the meeting was called because of “the continuation of violence and because the Syrian government did not implement its commitments in the Arab plan to resolve the Syrian crisis.” [++]