Syrian Update (from the BBC)

The current news from the BBC Internet News service concerning Syria

Heavy artillery fire has been rocking Homs, as Syrian troops step up an assault on the restive city.

A BBC correspondent there describes almost constant blasts, in the fiercest attack in the 11-month uprising.

US President Barack Obama said it was important to resolve the conflict without outside military intervention.

Meanwhile, Russia and China defended their veto of a UN draft resolution criticising Syria – a move that angered opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

Later the US State Department said it had closed its embassy in Damascus and pulled out all remaining staff because of security concerns.

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