The Syrian regime’s rocket and shell bombardment of protest hubs has left another 79 civilians dead, activists said, as Washington closed its Damascus embassy and Britain recalled its ambassador. The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said the regime was surrounding Homs with tanks on Monday ahead of “a major offensive” and warned of a “genocide” in the central Syrian city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 42 civilians were killed in Homs alone in another day of blood-letting, and warned the death toll was likely to rise with many of the dozens of wounded in critical condition. State media reported the deaths of three soldiers and said a “terrorist group” blew up an oil pipeline in Homs. The army also launched an assault on the Zabadani area near Damascus with heavy tank shelling, killing at least ten people, according to the Britain-based Observatory.