BEIRUT | Syrian state forces backed by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah hammered the central city of Homs on Friday, activists said, sparking concern from United Nations officials over thousands of civilians trapped in the city.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been using heavy air raids and artillery strikes to push their offensive around the capital and the strategically located Homs, which spans central Syria’s eastern and western international borders.
Syria’s opposition also hit deadlock on Friday in talks in Istanbul to elect a new leader, as the toppling of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood dealt a blow to its most influential faction.
The stalemate is preventing the main players in the Syrian National Coalition from reaching a deal acceptable to their Saudi and Qatari backers, who want to strengthen the opposition to counter an onslaught by Assad’s forces.
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