Syria bolsters troops as Iranian warships dock

Syrian troops massed around Homs, sparking calls Monday for women and children to flee the besieged flashpoint city, as Iranian warships docked at the port of Tartus in a show of force. The reported buildup came as Mediterranean states meeting in Rome agreed to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and avoid an “Iraqi scenario.” according to Tunisian foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem.

US General Martin Dempsey said any intervention in Syria would be “very difficult” and that it was “premature” to arm the opposition. China’s People’s Daily warned that any Western support for the rebels would trigger a “civil war”. However, president Bashar-al-Assad targeted the city of Homs for a 17th straight day. The attacks killed nine out of the 15 people killed across Syria so far on Monday, according to reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and official state media.

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