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Syrian Rebels Retreat From Homs Stronghold

Government troops take over Baba Amr neighborhood
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 5:23 PM CST
Syrian Rebels Retreat From Homs Stronghold
Syrians queue for bread outside a bakery in Qusayr, nine miles from Homs, on Thursday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Syria's opposition forces made a "tactical retreat" from a crisis-torn section of Homs today. The rebels left Baba Amr after a month of fighting, hoping to curb the threat to the 4,000 civilians who have stayed in the area despite the violence, al-Jazeera reports. Syrian government forces immediately "overran" the city after the retreat, adds the Washington Post.

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The rebels cited "worsening humanitarian conditions, lack of food and medicine, and water, electricity and communication cuts, as well as shortages in weapons." The Syrian government has, however, agreed to allow Red Cross workers into the area tomorrow to deliver supplies and conduct evacuations. Despite the withdrawal of some fighters, opposition Syrian National Council head Burhan Ghalioun says the resistance in the area remains "strong." Earlier today, the SNC announced a unified "military bureau." (Read more Syria stories.)

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