Assad unleashed: Syrian troops run roughshod over Hama

“All communications have been cut off. The regime is using the media focus on the Hosni Mubarak trial to finish off Hama,” one of the residents told Reuters by satellite phone from the city, adding that shelling concentrated on al-Hader district, large parts of which were razed during a 1982 military assault on Hama that killed thousands.

He said that tanks were seen thrusting to the centre from the south, accompanied by an array of ultraloyalist units, including militiamen known as ‘shabbiha,’ paratroopers and special forces.