Jan 19 - Gunfire and explosions rock Homs as protests continue in Syria, while Russia stands firm against foreign intervention. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Gunfire and explosions rocked the city of Homs in Syria on Wednesday, an opposition group said. Video uploaded on a social media website showed smoke rising above rooftops. Another showed a tank manoeuvring in the area of Deir Baalbeh in Homs and coming under fire. Reuters is not able to independently verify the content of the videos. One website showed members of the International Committee of the Red Cross visiting a clinic in Homs. They were confronted by a man saying the conditions were miserable. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED MAN SPEAKING TO ICRC MEMBERS, SAYING ''This is our situation, in Zahra hospital, in Nozha hospital, in El Ahli hospital. The governor of Homs visited them -- those hospitals were okay to visit but not us. We had to cry out in the street for blood donations.This is not right, we are people. We are human beings.'' Images from Idlib and Hama showed how protests against President Bashar al-Assad have not let up. Hundreds of killings on both sides have been reported since the Arab League sent observers to Syria last month. Calls for intervention are growing more strident. But on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia and China were standing firm against any foreign intervention or use of force . (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "If somebody intends to use force by any means - and I've already heard calls for the intervention of some Arab troops - we will hardly be able to prevent this. Especially if somebody wants to do something like this so much. But let it happen on their own initiative. Let it be on their conscience. They will not receive any authority from the Security Council." Russia has been the most vocal supporter of Assad in the 10-month old crackdown against protesters. The United Nations says 5,000 civilians have been killed. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.