Syria to allow Red Cross to enter Homs district

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GENEVA (AP) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has received permission from Syrian authorities to enter the besieged Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr on Friday.

Red Cross spokesman Hicham Hassan told The Associated Press on Thursday that the aid group and its Syrian counterpart received a "green light" for the government to bring in emergency supplies and carry out evacuations.

Hassan says the Red Cross received no explicit approval from opposition groups but that rebels have previously appealed for humanitarian assistance to the district.

Syrian rebels on Thursday staged what they described as a "tactical retreat" from Baba Amr to spare around 4,000 civilian residents from attacks by government forces.