2.7.2013 – Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad failed to make progress during the third dayof their assault on Homs. Amidst the fighting, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) urged the U.N. Security Council toconvene a meetingaimed at stopping the Syrian regime’s assault on Homs. Representatives of the six GCC states — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates called onthe Security Council to “urgently meet to break the siege on Homs and prevent the Syrian regime and its allies from committing horrific massacres.”

On Monday, Syrian rebels from the Aleppo province threatenedto seize the Shiite Muslim villages of Nubl and Zahra unless residents abandon their support for Assad and surrender to the opposition. This episode underscores the conflict’s increasingly sectarian nature, deepened by Hezbollah’s entrance into the fighting and the emergence of extremist Islamist groups within the opposition.