No Sign of Troops Leaving Cities as Required
At least 29 more people were killed today, including a large number in the key protest city of Homs, as Syrian troops attacked protesters and tanks pounded residential districts. Witnesses reported that 19 were killed in the Bab Amro District alone.
The killings bring the two day toll to at least 65, after 36 people, including both protesters and security forces were killed yesterday in attacks and fighting nationwide.
This is a large number for even a normal two day span in Syria, but is particularly troubling coming over the two days since the Assad regime announced it had agreed to an Arab League deal that was supposed to have troops leaving cities and political prisoners released. So far, there is no indication that anything of the sort is happening.
The deal, assuming it ever amounts to anything, would have the Arab League promising to sponsor talks between the government and pro-democracy protesters aimed at ending the massive demonstrations. The reason the Assad regime hasn’t been able to get the talks going by itself is a lack of belief by the protesters that the promises of reform are sincere. Since they still aren’t following through with the reforms, it is hard to blame them.
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