In Syria, where the death toll in the Arab uprising has reached beyond 7,500, security forces are mounting what appears to be a final assault on the city of Homs, the spiritual center of the uprising.

Syrian forces have launched a ground assault on opposition positions in the city of Homs, reports say, after nearly a month of artillery bombardment.

Security officials said the Baba Amr district would soon be “cleaned”, but reports say fighting is continuing.

Some lines of communication with Homs have now been restored but the scale of the operation remains unclear.

Over 100 died in shelling on Homs today, according to human rights groups, and the rebel fighters in the Baba Amr district have dwindled to about 400. At least three journalists continue to be trapped in Homs. A mass grave has also been found near Homs, with dozens of bodies.

The idea that it’s somehow surprising that the Syrian opposition has split, when under a constant barrage of murder and torture and arrest, makes no sense to me. Of course there’s a split in this time of total chaos and crisis.

The feckless United Nations, hemmed in by promised vetoes from Russia and China, will embark on a new resolution in the Security Council focused mostly on access to humanitarian aid.

That new Constitution in Syria, by the way, the one that allows for multi-party democracy, also allows President Bashar al-Assad to serve until 2028. And the slaughter continues, without much hope for a satisfactory resolution.