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The Syrian Government Is Moving To Retake The Beseiged City Of Homs

Homs was once considered a capital of the revolution.

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After a two-year-long siege, the Syrian army moved into rebel-held areas of Homs on Tuesday shelling neighborhoods and raising fears of further bloodshed in Syria's third largest city.

Stringer / Reuters

"The Syrian army and the (pro-regime militia) National Defence Forces have achieved key successes in the Old City of Homs," Syrian state television said, according to Lebanon's Daily Star.

Activists uploaded videos to YouTube that they claimed showed government warplanes bombing Homs during the offensive.

View this video on YouTube

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View this video on YouTube

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Homs — per-war population of 2 million — was once considered a capital of the revolution; the city's residents were an early force behind the anti-government protests that swept through Syria in the spring of 2011. Now, as the Syrian uprising has descended into civil war, the city is largely under government control, with the opposition retaining intermittent control of neighborhoods mainly in the Old City.

For much of the last two years, Assad's forces have been laying siege to rebel held areas of Homs, shelling neighborhoods and cutting off residents from access to food, medical care, and other basic services.

In February, as Homs' humanitarian situation worsened, the United Nations evacuated some 1,400 people trapped in the besieged neighborhoods; around 1,300 people, reportedly mostly fighters, stayed behind. In total, an estimated 150,000 people have been killed during Syria's three years of unrest and more than 9 million displaced, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Aerial view of Khaled Bin Alwaleed Mosque & aera (or what's left) in #Homs @THE_47th

Kristina Dei@2kdei

Aerial view of Khaled Bin Alwaleed Mosque & aera (or what's left) in #Homs @THE_47th

01:48 PM - 15 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

As news spread of the government's offensive into Homs, there was an outpouring of concern on social media, especially among exiled Homs residents.

#SaveHoms #Save_Homs #أنقذو_حمص

"We are coming for you, Homs."

Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor

Contact Miriam Berger at miriam.berger+done@buzzfeed.com.

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