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HRW Accuses Damascus of Attacking Civilian Neighbourhood in Homs

© Flickr / Freedom HouseDestruction in Homs is everywhere
Destruction in Homs is everywhere - Sputnik International
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Human Rights Watch claims that the Syrian government has been attacking a rebel-held neighbourhood in the central city of Homs, referring to interviews of six current and former local residents.

MOSCOW, December 24 (Sputnik) — The Syrian government has been attacking Waer, a rebel-held neighbourhood in the central city of Homs, at random since October, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced in a press release based on interviews of six current and former local residents.

"As attacks on Waer intensify and restrictions tighten, what was once a refuge for residents… has become a prison. The people of Waer need more than the words of a UN resolution, they need to see the UN put it into action," HRW deputy regional director Nadim Houry was quoted as saying in the statement, released Tuesday.

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Five current and one former resident who spoke to HRW said government attacks reached into areas with no rebel fighters or other military targets. Those interviewed claimed that the Syrian government has restricted local residents from leaving the area and blocked humanitarian aid from reaching some 100,000 civilians still present in the neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council voted last Wednesday to extend its July resolution allowing unfettered access of humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas in Syria until January 2016. The previous UNSC resolution signed in February led to the delivery of international humanitarian aid convoys to embattled regions, including Homs.

Since then, more than 20 convoys have crossed the Syrian border to address the basic needs of displaced civilians.

The ongoing civil war in Syria started as anti-government protests in the wake of the Arab Uprising in 2011. According to the United Nations, over 12 million Syrians still in the country and millions of Syrian refugees in the wider region are currently in dire need of aid.

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