Even though gunfire interrupted a U.N.-brokered humanitarian pause, more than 600 people, mostly women, children and senior citizens, were evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs, where rebels battle government troops and each other.
Vehicles from the Red Crescent and United Nations had a difficult time entering the city over the weekend as they were targeted by gunfire and explosives. But workers managed to deliver some aid to the thousands of people in the besieged section of the city known as Homs.
A photo on the Twitter feed of the Syrian Red Crescent showed dozens of people standing in the rubble of a street as aid workers passed out supplies and food. “Although the team was shelled and fired upon we managed to deliver 250 food parcels,190 hygiene kits and chronic diseases medicines,” the organization said in a tweet.
Who targeted the aid workers is in dispute. A Wall Street Journal reporter in Syria told CNN that workers in the convoy had no doubt the fire came from government forces. But the governor of the province, Talal al-Barazi, said it was two rival rebel factions — one that wants to keep civilians as human shields and another that wants to exchange them for aid.