Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:19
BEIRUT: Troops pounded and raided rebel strongholds across Syria and clashes erupted in Homs on Tuesday as 36 people were killed in violence nationwide, a watchdog said.
Regime forces clashed with rebels before dawn in Homs where a soldier was killed amid "intermittent shelling" of the central city, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Columns of black smoke were seen rising from the area," the Britain-based group said.
A commander of the Free Syrian Army from Baba Amr said the situation was "very tough" in the district of Homs which regime forces seized back from the rebels in March after a month of relentless shelling.
"We are still fighting, but we haven't made it into Baba Amr today. Our aim is to take the district back," Nasser Nahhar told AFP via Skype.
The Local Coordination Committees activist group said troops bombarded the rebel-held town of Rastan, in Homs province, from dawn with "fierce and ...