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Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 12/27/2011

Syria pulls tanks from Homs as Arab League monitors visit city (videos)

As monitors from the Arab League visited the restive city of Homs Tuesday, Syria’s army suspended its assault on the city and began withdrawing its tanks, the AP reports.


This image from amateur video made available by the Ugarit News group on Dec. 21 purports to show military vehicles in Homs, Syria. (AP)
At least 20,000 protesters gathered in some neighborhoods to “reveal the crimes committed by the regime” to the Arab League, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.

The withdrawal of tanks comes after violence in the city of Homs Monday. The Post’s Alice Fordham, citing activists’ accounts, reported that more than 20 people were killed. Some civilians were injured by nail bombs and houses were destroyed by shells, the activists said. Much of the city was locked down.

Videos uploaded onto YouTube, Fordham wrote, “showed a city at war,” as civilians heard “the frequent thump of heavy artillery and rattle of gunfire down alleyways”:

(Via YouTube user SyriaPioneer)

Other videos showed protesters rallying against the government of President Bashar al-Assad:

(Via Ugarit News.)

Several extremely graphic videos were also uploaded from Homs, showing the bodies of civilians allegedly killed by shelling by government forces.

But on Tuesday, videos uploaded from the city showed a different story, with images purportedly showing tanks pulling out from the city:

(Via YouTube user ShamSNN.)

The Associated Press reports that the withdrawal of tanks from Homs is the first sign that Assad may follow the Arab League plan to halt attacks on peaceful protesters.

The crackdown on the country’s anti-government demonstrators is in its ninth month. The United Nations recently estimated that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the violence.

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By  |  10:56 AM ET, 12/27/2011

Tags:  World, Syria, Homs, Arab League

 
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