Syrian regime questions 336 men in Homs
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
ANKARA - Syria’s Assad regime is allegedly questioning men between the ages of 15 to 55 who are evacuating Homs during the humanitarian ceasefire.
The regime are calling men into the Andalus collective center, an abandoned school in Homs, to assess their ability to fight, according to Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for UN refugee agency chief.
More than 1,100 civilians took advantage of a three-day "humanitarian pause" this weekend to flee the besieged city of Old Homs, in western Syria.
Speaking to journalists Fleming said: "Of those evacuated, 336 men aged below 55 years or above 15 are being questioned by authorities in the Andalus collective centre, an abandoned school in Homs. Some came with their wives and children – 41 of them were released and went to Al Waer, a suburb on the outskirts of Homs."
The ceasefire was extended for another three days on Monday to enable UN and Syrian Arab Red Cross workers to bring assistance to those left behind.
On Saturday, aid workers were targeted by rifle and mortar fire. Some 83 civilians were able to escape the Old City. On Sunday, another 592 managed to flee. Some ran to the safety of UN vehicles to avoid sniper fire.
According to the terms of the framework agreement that led to the pause, those allowed to leave were 55 years-old or over, as well as women and children. UN staff reported that many were in poor health and profoundly traumatized.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency