At least 30 killed as Syrian opposition disappointed by Tunis conference
Negotiations resumed between Syrian authorities and opponents to agree to the evacuation of wounded in the Baba Amr district of Homs, where the bombing of the army entered its fourth week Saturday. At least 28 people were killed in violence Saturday across Syria, including nine in Homs, the third largest city in the country, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
The official news agency SANA reported Saturday the funeral of 18 members of security forces killed by "armed terrorist groups" in Homs, Deraa and Idlib, and in the Damascus countryside.
Lamenting the end of the international meeting of "Friends of Syria", held Friday in Tunis, opposition activists said that the world had abandoned them and efforts to prevent the forces of President Bashar al-Assad from continuing their "massacres."
"They (the leaders of the international community) still give this man a chance to kill us, just as he has already killed thousands of people," said Nadir Husseini, an insurgent from Baba Amr neighborhood, reported Reuters.
Husseini added that the residents of Baba Amr were suspicious of the Syrian representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and would not cooperate with an organization placed "under the control of the regime".
The ICRC, however, asserted that the Syrian Red Crescent is an independent organization. "Its volunteers risk their lives every day to help others, without exception," said Hisham Hassan, ICRC spokesperson in Geneva.
The Syrian Red Crescent evacuated 27 wounded from Baba Amr on Friday, added the ICRC.
The opposition says French journalist Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy, wounded in the bombing earlier this week on an improvised press center in Baba Amr, are still in Homs. The two journalists refuse to be evacuated without being accompanied by members of the ICRC and foreign diplomats.
The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, said on Friday in Tunis that the governor of Homs worked with the ICRC to ensure that the evacuation is possible "without delay."
Meanwhile, civilians trapped in the Baba Amr bombing are being subjected to terrible conditions. "We have hundreds of wounded crammed into homes," said Husseini. "People die because they lack blood and we do not have the means to treat them all," he said.
The Tunis meeting has not met the expectations of the Syrian people, summed up the head of the Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, chief representative of the opposition to the Assad regime.
Diplomacy is at an impasse in the Security Council, where Russia and China opposed draft resolutions condemning repression in Syria.
Despite continued bloodshed, a referendum will be held Sunday on a new constitution which, according to Bashar al Assad, will pave the way for multiparty elections within three months. The opposition called for a boycott and continues to demand the resignation of Assad.