This editors of Foreign Policy composed this slideshow.
In the 11 months of President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown in Syria, the assault on Homs has been the bloodiest. This western Syrian city of roughly 1 million people, close to the border with Lebanon, has been a flashpoint of the Syrian revolt. Residents of Homs have taken to the streets for months to call for Assad's ouster, and many of the city's neighborhoods have broken away from the regime's control.
On the eve of a climactic vote in the U.N. Security Council on a resolution to condemn the Syrian government's crackdown, Assad decided to punish Homs once more. On Feb. 3, an estimated 200 people were killed as Syrian security forces unleashed a mortar barrage on the city — making it the most violent day of the Syrian uprising to date. Then on Feb. 5, after Russia and China vetoed the Security Council resolution, Assad renewed his attack, with activists reporting another 31 people dead.