Syrian troops advance in central city of Homs

AP News
Posted: May 02, 2013 3:55 AM
Syrian troops advance in central city of Homs

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian government troops are advancing in a push to oust rebels from the central city of Homs.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says troops loyal to President Bashar Assad regained control Thursday of the Wadi Sayeh district in the center of Homs.

The neighborhood is strategically important for Assad's troops as they try to dislodge opposition fighters from several of the city's central districts that have been under rebel control for more than a year.

Homs is Syria's third largest city. It was the scene of street protests against Assad's rule after the uprising began in March 2011. Since then, the city has seen some of the worst urban warfare in the Syrian civil war.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the 2-year-old conflict.