Free Syrian Army withdraws from Baba Amr in Homs

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Free Syrian Army has withdrawn from the Baba Amr area of Homs following an attack on the city by government forces.

The head of the FSA said it had "tactically" pulled out of the neighborhood after nearly two days of an all-out assault by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

Rebels "have pulled out tactically in order to protect the remaining civilians," Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad told AFP.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the Syrian government had granted it permission to begin to treat the wounded in the area.

"The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ICRC have received the green light to enter Baba Amr tomorrow, including full assistance, medical aid and to carry out evacuations," ICRC spokesman in Damascus Saleh Dabbakeh told Al-Akhbar

Dabbakeh would not speculate on the numbers injured but said they would be taken to nearby hospitals.

"That's what we will try to do. We will try to bring in food and to evacuate people."

"We have the green light to go in tomorrow but anything can happen in between today and tomorrow," he added.

An unconfirmed statement on Facebook claiming to be from the FSA said they had withdrawn due to the worsening humanitarian situation.

"We, the Baba Amr brigade, have decided to strategically withdraw for the sake of the civilians remaining inside the neighborhood. The humanitarian situation is at its worst, as there is no food whatsoever, no medicines, no water and no electricity."

"There is no communication in the area thus making matters much worse. We are also lacking in enough arms to defend the civilians."

(Al-Akhbar)

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