Content Below quoted From a CBC article
The Red Cross is negotiating with Syrian authorities and opposition groups in a bid to open up channels to allow humanitarian aid to trickle into the most ravaged parts of the conflict-scarred country.
The talks aimed at easing the delivery of food and medicine to civilians in the worst-hit sections of Syria come amid the threat of more bombardments in the central city of Homs by troops loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking from Geneva, a spokeswoman with the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that the aid group was "discussing several possibilities with all those concerned" that could lead to "a cessation of fighting" in neighbourhoods most affected by the 11-month anti-Assad uprising.
GRN reporter Rania Abouzeid told CBC News Network from Beirut that the Assad regime has maintained a tight grip on the capital, Damascus, as well as the northern city and commercial hub of Aleppo.
"The Red Cross sent a statement to various media outlets saying it was negotiating with the Syrian officials and also with the armed Syrian opposition on the ground to form a …ceasefire for humanitarian reasons, to enable some much-needed aid into some of these very heavily hit areas, like that central city of Homs," Abouzeid said.
She added that amateur video from days ago, purportedly shot from Damascus, apparently showed "an unprecedented protest" involving "several hundred, if not thousands of people, walking through the snow, braving a snowstorm to chant and call for the fall of this regime."
China and Russia possibly shifting stance
A heavy clampdown followed that demonstration, she said, and tanks and troops continued to mass around Homs for a possible siege against rebels trying to hold on to Syria's third-largest city.
According to activists, up to 200 people were killed by a barrage of mortar fire earlier this month in Homs, a focal point of the unrest. First-hand accounts from Homs have been hard to come by, as telecommunication lines have been severed during the clashes.
It's also believed that hundreds of Syrian army defectors have taken shelter there.
But the head of the Arab League on Monday said he detected a possible change in tone from China and Russia — two countries that supported Damascus by vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning Assad's regime.
"There are some indications, especially from China and to some degree from Russia, that there may be a change in their stance," Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said at a news conference in Cairo.
Syria-based activist Mustafa Osso told The Associated Press that Assad's military should face strong resistance as residents plan to fight until "the last person." He added that Homs is facing "savage shelling that does not differentiate between military or civilians targets."