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Rebel Stronghold Falls To Syrian Government Forces

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

In Syria, after a month-long siege that has left hundreds dead, the rebel stronghold of Baba Amr has fallen. Activists say government troops are now combing the area, arresting any male over the age of 12. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: The district of Baba Amr in the city of Homs had been the heart of the Syrian uprising, where mass protests turned into an armed resistance. Now the buildings of Baba Amr have been reduced to rubble, survivors have fled to other neighborhoods, and some of the rebels have escaped here, to a hospital in northern Lebanon.

Folks with wounds, wounds in their faces, arms, legs, people with casts, a guy whose leg - who lost his leg.

MCEVERS: Attention now turns to the thousands of civilians who are left in Baba Amr. The Syrian government says it will allow international aid groups to enter the area, this after aid groups had been denied entry for weeks.

In other parts of Syria, rebels continue to battle a much better armed military. And protests continue. As one fighter put it, the regime thinks if they flatten Baba Amr, they flatten Homs. And if they flatten Homs, they flatten the uprising. But instead, he says, the regime's violence only strengthens our resolve to fight to back.

Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Beirut. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.