UN humanitarian chief visits Homs
The UN humanitarian chief has got a first look inside the shattered district of Baba Amr and found most people had already fled the rebellious neighbourhood in Homs following a devastating military siege.
Activists have accused the government of sealing off Baba Amr for nearly a week while it tried to cover up evidence of atrocities over the past month.
Valerie Amos arrived in Damascus earlier in the day, then headed straight to Baba Amr, which the military wrested from rebel control last Thursday after a battle that lasted nearly four weeks.
Homs is one of the strongholds of Syria's year-old uprising to remove President Bashar Assad.
"The Syrian Arab Red Crescent stayed about 45 minutes inside the neighbourhood," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said in Geneva.
"Volunteers say that most inhabitants have left Baba Amr to areas that have already been visited last week by the Red Crescent and the ICRC."
The siege of Baba Arm outraged the international community, and the US said Assad was acting like a war criminal.
The government has kept Baba Amr sealed off over the past six days, saying it was too dangerous for humanitarian workers to enter. But activists say the government has been engaged in a "mopping-up" operation to hide their activities.
"They haven't let anyone in for a week, and now they are going to let them in?" said Homs activists Tarek Badrakhan.
"Today it's simple: They finished their crimes and hid all the proof. Now they think they can show that everything is normal."