The death toll in Syria since political protests began in mid-March is now more than 3,500, says the UN. In early November, Syria agreed to seek a peaceful end to the uprising and the removal of soldiers and tanks from the streets. The agreement was brokered by the Cairo-based Arab League.

Since then, some 60 people have been killed, mainly in Homs. Security forces are also reported to have mounted a heavy offensive on the Bab Amr district of the city. On 7 November, the main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said Homs was a “disaster area”.

The Arab League is due to hold an emergency meeting on 12 November to discuss “the continuation of violence and because the Syrian government did not implement its commitments in the Arab plan”.