Mar 2 - Shelling near Syria's industrial heartland leaves dozens dead, survivors without medical aid and the Free Syrian Army begging for international assistance. Sarah Wali reportss.
The once bustling Syrian city of Atarib - now a ghost town in the wake of shelling against opposition to the regime of President Bashaar al-Assad. Activist groups reported dozens of deaths yesterday as government forces continue in their attempt crush the uprising. A member of the Free Syrian Army said there has been no assistance from the international community or humanitarian organizations. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FREE SYRIA ARMY FIGHTER, NAME WITHHELD, SAYING: "We ask the international community and the humanitarian organisations to protect us from Assad's criminal gangs. Here is a shell that Assad sent to the children of the city of Atarib after attacking schools and building. Where are you oh Arabs? Where are you oh Muslims?" Aid groups like Doctors Without Borders say they are having difficulties getting aid inside Syria. Co-founder Dr. Jacques Beres, who entered the country illegally to treat patients in Homs, described the circumstances as grim. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DOCTOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES JACQUES BERES SAYING: "Conditions were very poor with nearly everything missing- many drugs, not even masks for children for anaesthesiology and you can't use masks for adults because it does not fit. Nothing to brush and scrub the hands of the surgeons. So just alcohol on the hands and then directly in the gloves." The Syrian government says the situation has improved with State television showing these shots of an eerily calm city of Homs. Once home to 100,000 residents, only a few thousand are believed to remain. Sarah Wali, Reuters