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      Assad's Forces 'Taking' Homs Neighborhood

      Syrian security source claims government troops took over Baba Amr, other reports question this.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 3/1/2012, 6:37 PM

      Syrian gov't shelling of Baba Amr
      Syrian gov't shelling of Baba Amr
      Reuters  


      A source in Syria's security establishment said Thursday that forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have taken over the Baba Amr neighborhood in the city of Homs – the leading stronghold of the anti-Assad rebellion. However, a BBC reporter said that the government forces are located on the neighborhood's outskirts and have not yet entered its heart.

      It was earlier reported that most of the rebels in the Baba Amr section retreated today, after withstanding three weeks of government shelling. Opposition members called the retreat "tactical" and noted that a few combatants remained inside Baba Amr in order to provide for cover for their retreating colleagues.

      The rebel forces had come under an all-out assault by the Fourth Armored Division, led by a younger brother of President Assad, Maher.

      A Syrian security official said in Damascus that the army was in complete command of the rebel bastion. “The Syrian army controls all of Baba Amr. The last pockets of resistance have fallen,” he told AFP