Head of Syria monitors: Homs situation reassuring

"Nothing frightening" in flashpoint city, Head of Arab League monitors in Syria says after 15 killed in previous day's violence.

By REUTERS
December 28, 2011 11:24
1 minute read.
Anti-Assad protests in Homs, Syria

Anti-Assad protests in Homs, Syria 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)

BEIRUT - The head of the Arab League delegation investigating if Syria is keeping its promise to implement a peace plan said on Wednesday the situation in the flashpoint city of Homs was "reassuring so far."

"There were some places where the situation was not good," said Sudanese General Mustafa Dabi. "But there wasn't anything frightening at least while we were there."

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"Yesterday was quiet and there were no clashes. We did not see tanks but we did see some armored vehicles. But remember this was only the first day and it will need investigation. We have 20 people who will be there for a long time."

Tens of thousands of Syrians rallied in Homs on Tuesday, emboldened by Arab peace monitors’ first tour of the hotbed of protests, after the army withdrew some tanks following battles that killed 34 people in 24 hours.

The bloodshed continued, with rights groups estimating 15 people had been killed Tuesday nationwide. More than 5,000 people are believed to have been killed in the nine-month uprising.

As the monitors arrived, tanks were seen leaving the Baba Amr district. Protesters in Homs appeared to take heart from the observers’ sudden presence, hoping to convince monitors they must not be hoodwinked by the state by being shown places where life appears relatively normal.

Oren Kessler contributed to this report.

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