US backs humanitarian ceasefire in Syria

The United States supports calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Syria to bring relief to civilians caught up in a crackdown by the regime, the White House said Tuesday.

"Reprehensible actions taken by the Assad regime have led us to a situation where basic supplies, humanitarian supplies are very scarce," said White House press secretary Jay Carney, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"We support calls for cease-fires to allow for the provision of humanitarian supplies to Syrians who desperately need it."

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for at least a daily two hour truce in the fighting to allow it to deliver vital aid to civilians trapped by the unrest, and bring out the sick and wounded.

The Syrian army has pummeled residential areas of the city of Homs for days in a campaign to crush opponents of Assad's leadership there and in other locations.

Since February 11, Red Crescent and ICRC teams have managed to enter the cities of Homs, Bludan, Al Zabadani and Madaya to provide humanitarian relief.

Rights groups say more than 6,000 people have been killed in the regime's crackdown which began in March last year.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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