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Syrian Troops Pull Back from Streets Under Watch of Arab League
January 2, 2012

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The unrest continues in Syria, although it has a different look these days.

Arab League observers, finally allowed in to the country after weeks of delay by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, have witnessed the continuation of violence by army troops against unarmed civilians in some cities. A League-based peace plan called for Syrian soldiers and tanks to withdraw from city streets, and they have done so for the most part, although only to the outskirts of most cities.

The observers have also managed the release of more than 3,000 prisoners and the delivery of food supplies into Homs, one of the hotbeds of opposition.

Meanwhile, the growing opposition said that it had captured a large number of army security forces at two military checkpoints. The main opposition group, the Free Syrian Army, had ordered its newly armed fighters to put down their weapons in hopes of support for a meeting with the Arab League observers.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 5,000 people have died in the uprising, which began in the wake of similar movements in Egypt and Libya.



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