A Red Cross convoy has entered Homs in Syria, bringing life-saving aid for the shattered district of Baba Amro.
The green light was given by Syrian authorities hours after rebels withdrew from the heavily bombarded area.
As EU leaders discussed stepping up the pressure on President Assad, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron demanded immediate humanitarian access.
“This is the very least that must happen to bring immediate relief to those who are wounded or dying but it is far from enough,” Cameron told reporters in Brussels. “The world must come together to condemn the killing so I say to the Russians and to the Chinese, look hard at the suffering from Syria and think again about supporting this criminal regime.”
In an interview with European editors, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insisted he had no special relationship with President Assad.
“Our goal is not to support this or that party in the conflict, nor to support the governent or the armed opposition. No, our goal is overall reconciliation in Syria,” he said.
That however seems a long way off, with bloodshed continuing.
In the town of Rastan in Homs province, activists said at least 13 people died when Syrian security forces fired a mortar on anti-Assad protesters.
The UN says the regime has killed more than 7,500 civilians since the revolt began last March.