Syrian state-run media has celebrated the Syrian army's latest "victory against terrorism and the restoration of security and stability to Homs province.”
After weeks of shelling, the regime has now reclaimed almost all the key neighborhood of Khalidiyeh in Homs, Syria’s third city.
Syrian state television reported that “after two years of suffering endured by the residents of Homs because of armed terrorist groups, the armed forces have eliminated extremist terrorists in the Khalidiyeh neighborhood.”
In a statement to SANA, a field commander saluted the "brave soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army who forced the terrorists out of the neighborhood" and pointed out the importance of "liberating this area in blocking the supply roads for armed terrorist groups.”
SANA also reported that units of the armed forces “restored security and stability to the Matahen (mills) area between the old garage and Saqiet al-Rai in the city of Homs.”
Local opposition activists and a rebel spokesman were cited by a news website as saying that the Syrian military now held 95% of the area, including the historic Khaled bin Walid mosque, which has become a symbol of destruction of the conflict. More importantly, however, is the strategic location of Khalidiyeh – its capture means the regime has now bisected remaining insurgent-held districts of Homs.
Attention now shifts to if and when Syrian forces will re-occupy all of those areas.
Abu Rami al-Homsi, a spokesman for the Syrian Revolution General Command activist network in Homs, was cited by EA World News as saying that “defeat was inevitable with access cut from the rebel-held Old City to opposition strongholds in Qusour and Juret al-Shayah.”
“There have been no reinforcements for us to break this siege; there are no weapons to change the way of the battle. I think we might resist for weeks or maybe a month, but not long. There’s no balance between the two sides,” Homsi said.
In the meantime, army units carried out a series of operations against rebel strongholds in Eastern Ghouta and a number of other suburbs in the Damascus Countryside.
An unnamed official source told SANA that units of the armed forces clashed with terrorist groups in several areas of Harasta, killing and injuring many terrorists, among them Mohammad Nour Khashaneh.