Syria Crisis: 'Another Massacre' In Homs As UN Prepares Aid Plan
A suburb of the devastated city of Homs in Syria has become the scene of another massacre, activists have reported.
More than 50 people have been reported killed in the Jobar section of Homs, according to the Syrian Local Coordination Committees.
Those numbers include 44 people who were "executed", the opposition group said.
It added that 20 of the dead belonged to a single family.
The deaths were said to be "reprisal killings" after almost four weeks of government shelling in Homs resulted in the withdrawal of the Free Syrian Army.
Three people were also killed in Deir Ezzor, two in Idlib, two in Daraya near Damascus and at least three others around the country.
The reports of their deaths came as the UN was said to be preparing an aid plan to feed more than 1.5m people in the country after a visit by humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos on Wednesday.
Reuters cited diplomatic sources who said that the UN was readying food stocks as part of a 90-day emergency plan costing $105m.
"The UN side of the humanitarian community is looking at the process of additional food stocks pre-positioned to target 1.5 million people," said John Ging, director of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs at a one-day forum on Syria.
Following her brief visit to Baba Amr on Wednesday, Baroness Amos said that parts of Homs had been "completely destroyed".
"The devastation there is significant," Amos told the Reuters news agency. "That part of Homs is completely destroyed and I am concerned to know what has happened to the people who live in that part of the city."
Also on Thursday the Syrian deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin defected from the government in the highest-profile resignation since the start of the uprising in March 2011.
In a video posted to YouTube he said that the regime was "brutal" and that he was "joining the revolution".
"You have nothing but the footprint of the tank driven by your barbarism to kill innocent people," he said in the video.
Meanwhile British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that negotiations were taking place with China and Russia at the UN in New York over a new resolution condemning the "appalling and unacceptable situation" in Syria.
But Hague said it was unlikely the new resolution would include a reference to the International Criminal Court, which would probably cause both countries to veto the resolution as they have done in the past.
"If it is possible achieve agreement at the UN on a resolution, which ... makes it easier to get humanitarian assistance and to support the kind of political process that the UN Special Envoy is designed to encourage, then we have a responsibility to do that and try to achieve a resolution of support for those things," Hague told a foreign affairs select committee.
"It's very difficult to agree any resolution," he said.
Hague also said that the Syrian opposition was not united behind a common cause, and that "difficulties" remained in the country, including the presence of Al Qaeda.
""The opposition has not formed a united group. There are many different elements that make up the opposition in Syria, that is one of the constraints upon us," he said.