The Syrian army took control Thursday of the district of Baba Amr in Homs after nearly two days of fighting against the rebels. "The Syrian army controls all of Baba Amr, the last pockets of resistance are all fallen," said a Syrian security source in Damascus.
"The soldiers are currently distributing food to the population and evacuate the wounded," assured the source, adding that the army was also in search of wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier.
"The rebels are still active in the neighborhoods of Hamadiyé and Khaldiyé and operations will continue there," added the source.
Meanwhile, the free Syrian army chief, Colonel Riad Assaad, announced a "tactical" withdrawal of its fighters from Baba Amr "out of concern for civilian lives " in this neighborhood, which is under siege and bombing for the past 27 days.
The "Revolutionary Brigade of Baba Amr " also announced "a tactical withdrawal from the area due to the difficult humanitarian situation of the inhabitants and the acute shortage of weapons and ammunition," said a statement released by militants on the internet.
According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, 17 civilians were killed Thursday in fighting near the rebel district, where the army was conducting searches and arrests.
In addition, snipers killed a civilian in the neighborhood of Bayyada in Homs and three others in the neighborhood of Bab al-Sbaa in the city. Additionally, a civilian in the province of Hama was killed, while a civilian died during a search operation in the province of Damascus.