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Syria: Homs lies in ruins after years of urban warfare01:18

Syria: Homs lies in ruins after years of urban warfare

Syrian Arab Republic, Homs
January 21, 2016 at 08:13 GMT +00:00 · Published

Footage shot on Wednesday captured the devastation inflicted on the ancient city of Homs, as the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year.

Row after row of buildings have been destroyed or badly damaged in the city. Roofs have been blown off, walls have been toppled and the streets now lie empty.

Syria's third largest city has witnessed intense fighting between government forces and opposition troops. The largest oil refinery in Syria is located in Homs and its transport connections make it a key strategic location for all sides involved in the conflict.

In 2011 parts of the industrial city were taken by opposition troops. In 2012, the Syrian government launched an offensive to retake full control of Homs and destroy opposition forces in the area. However, opposition troops maintained their presence in sections of the city and by mid-2013 both groups were locked in stalemate.

The Syrian government maintained the siege of Homs for three years and by February 2014 a United Nations-brokered deal saw a temporary ceasefire established between both sides. Following the ceasefire, opposition forces began to slowly pull back from the besieged city. By the end of 2015 a similar deal to that brokered in 2014 which saw Homs under the full control of the Syrian government.

Aside from the fighting between government and opposition forces, the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) has also carried out a number of attacks on Homs, the last of which left at least 16 dead in December of 2015.

Syria: Homs lies in ruins after years of urban warfare01:18
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Description

Footage shot on Wednesday captured the devastation inflicted on the ancient city of Homs, as the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year.

Row after row of buildings have been destroyed or badly damaged in the city. Roofs have been blown off, walls have been toppled and the streets now lie empty.

Syria's third largest city has witnessed intense fighting between government forces and opposition troops. The largest oil refinery in Syria is located in Homs and its transport connections make it a key strategic location for all sides involved in the conflict.

In 2011 parts of the industrial city were taken by opposition troops. In 2012, the Syrian government launched an offensive to retake full control of Homs and destroy opposition forces in the area. However, opposition troops maintained their presence in sections of the city and by mid-2013 both groups were locked in stalemate.

The Syrian government maintained the siege of Homs for three years and by February 2014 a United Nations-brokered deal saw a temporary ceasefire established between both sides. Following the ceasefire, opposition forces began to slowly pull back from the besieged city. By the end of 2015 a similar deal to that brokered in 2014 which saw Homs under the full control of the Syrian government.

Aside from the fighting between government and opposition forces, the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) has also carried out a number of attacks on Homs, the last of which left at least 16 dead in December of 2015.

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