Most Syrian rebels pulled out of the besieged Baba Amro district of Homs on Thursday after more than three weeks of bombardment by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, activists in contact with the rebels said.

They said a few fighters had remained behind to try to cover the tactical withdrawal of their comrades.

A statement in the name of the fighters called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups to enter Baba Amro and bring aid to 4,000 civilians who insisted on staying in their destroyed houses.

We warn the regime against any retaliation against civilians and we hold it fully responsible for their safety, the statement said.

Government forces have bombarded Baba Amro, a symbol of the 11-month revolt against Assad, since February 4.

The Free Army and all the other fighters have left Baba Amro, they pulled out, one of the activists said.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny)