The Commercial Appeal

Military strikes key central city of Homs

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BEIRUT — Government troops launched a series of attacks in central Syria Saturday, striking with artillery, tanks and warplanes in a drive to capture rebel-held neighborho­ods in the country’s third largest city of Homs, with activists said.

The army of President Bashar Assad has been on the offensive in Homs province in recent weeks, reclaiming some of the territory it has lost to the rebels since Syria’s crisis began 27 months ago.

Activists in the city said all cellular lines were cut early Saturday before warplanes pounded rebel-held areas. The air raids were followed by intense shelling with artillery, mortars and tanks, before troops tried to advance.

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