Smoke from shelling rises over the Khaldiyeh area in Homs city
The Syrian army says it is now in control of the Baba Amr district of Homs

Syrian government forces have claimed full control of the Baba Amr district of Homs, following a military ground assault.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said they had pulled out of the area in a tactical withdrawal in the face of a ferocious barrage by regime troops. The withdrawal was carried out, said the rebels, to spare the lives of residents trapped in the area.

Up to 4,000 civilians are thought to still be in Baba Amr.

Shelling was reported to have stopped and troops were moving further into the city. FSA head Col Riyad al-Asaad said a few fighters remained in the area to cover the retreat.

In a statement, the FSA said it did not have enough weapons to fight the army and protect civilians and called for Red Cross help.

The Syrian National Council has established a military bureau to work with the FSA but the BBC has reported claims that rebels have refused to work with the bureau.