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Syria: The fear of carnage to come

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Women and children endure wintry weather as they wait in line to buy bread in Al Qusayr, a city in western Syria about 3 miles from Homs, on March 1, 2012.

A few miles from the the unfolding offensive in Homs, Syria, snow fell as people lined up outside a bakery in the town of Al Qusayr on Thursday morning. It was as close as most journalists were able to get to the besieged city, where two of their colleagues remained trapped alongside thousands of civilians after more than three weeks of steady government bombardment.

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad pounded the Babr Amr district of Homs on Thursday in what appeared to be a final push on the opposition stronghold, activists said. On Wednesday, a Syrian official heightened fears of greater carnage to come when he said the government would "cleanse" the area. 

Opposition activists remained defiant.

"Baba Amr will be the straw that will break the regime's back," Mohaimen al-Rumaid told Reuters from an area in Turkey near the Syrian border. "All of Syria is turning into Baba Amr." Read more.

A guide with a cameraman shot video inside Homs, Syria showing evidence of continuing violence in the besieged city. ITN's John Irvine reports.      

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Men wait to buy bread in front of a bakery in Al Qusayr on March 1, 2012.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Free Syrian Army supporters chant anti-government slogans under snowfall on the outskirts of Idlib, northern Syria, late on Feb. 29, 2012.