Syrian Opposition urges UN action to protect Homs

Syrian Opposition urges UN action to protect Homs Beirut: The opposition Syrian National Council on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council and Arab states to take measures to end the "barbaric" attack by Syrian regime forces on the city of Homs.

The SNC called on the "Arab League and the Security Council to adopt procedural measures to end the barbaric attack on Homs, and to take necessary action to protect civilians, provide aid and treat the wounded," in a statement released amid reports of intensified shelling of the central city.

The umbrella group of a number of Syrian opposition parties urged international organisations to "act speedily to end the siege of Homs," warning that regime forces had bolstered troops around the flashpoint city.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad used tanks and artillery against the rebel-held neighbourhood of Baba Amr on Tuesday, he said.

The council called on residents of "all Syrian cities to rise up against the regime in order to release some of the pressure put on our people in Homs," the statement said.

Monitors and activists reported that security forces blitzed Homs, killing at least 16 civilians on Tuesday.

Security forces have been laying siege to several neighbourhoods of the city since February 4.