Syria Troops Kill 20 a Day after Peace Plan Accord

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syrian troops killed 20 civilians and arrested dozens on Thursday, a rights watchdog said, a day after Damascus pledged to withdraw its forces from protest hubs under an Arab League plan to end the bloodshed.

"Twenty civilians were killed today in several neighborhoods of Homs where the sound of gunfire can still be heard," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a statement received by Agence France Presse.

The Observatory earlier reported nine dead in Homs, where Syrian forces reportedly used tank-mounted heavy machineguns a day after Damascus pledged to withdraw its troops from protest hubs under a deal to end months of bloodshed.

As activists called for mass demonstrations to test the genuineness of the government's commitment to the peace blueprint, the largest opposition group held talks in Cairo with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi to voice concerns.

"We told the secretary general of our fears that the regime will not keep its promises," Samir al-Nashar, a member of the executive bureau of the opposition Syrian National Council told reporters in Cairo.

Arabi briefed them on the peace plan, which also calls on embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to engage in a national dialogue with his opponents, said Nashar, adding that the SNC does not want talks but for Assad to quit.

"We are not talking about a dialogue. We offered to engage in negotiations to move from an authoritarian regime to a democratic regime. And we ask that Bashar al-Assad resign," he said.

The SNC, the largest and most representative Syrian opposition grouping, on Wednesday urged the Arab League to freeze Syria's membership in the 22-member organization and recognize it as the sole representative of the opposition.

Assad's opponents are skeptical about the regime's readiness to rein in a brutal crackdown that the United Nations says has cost more than 3,000 lives since mid-March.

London and Washington said that despite Damascus's agreement to the Arab League plan after weeks of prevarication, they still believed Assad must heed the demands of anti-government protesters and step down.

Hours after Syria agreed to the Arab plan its security forces pressed on with the crackdown.

Twenty people were killed in several flashpoint neighbourhoods of Homs as gunfire continued to explode across the city, the Observatory said.

Security forces also arrested "more than 80 people at dawn in Deir al-Zour (eastern Syria) and neighboring districts," it added.

Under the hard-won deal announced at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo late on Wednesday, the Syrian government is supposed to withdraw its troops from all protest centers, although the text set no timetable.

The blueprint agreed by Syria, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, provides for a "complete halt to the violence to protect civilians."

It calls for the "release of people detained as a result of the recent events, the withdrawal of forces from towns and districts where there have been armed clashes and the granting of access to the Arab League and Arab and international media."

It also stipulates that "the Arab ministerial committee (headed by the prime minister of Qatar) will conduct consultations with the government and the various Syrian opposition parties aimed at launching a national dialogue."

The text did not specify a venue for the dialogue. That is a bone of contention between the government, which insists on Damascus, and the opposition, which says it should be outside Syria.

Meanwhile, an Arab diplomat said the ministerial task force is expected to visit Syria soon to follow up on the implementation of the agreement

But skepticism prevailed among regime opponents.

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), which organizes anti-regime protests, said it doubted "the integrity of the Syrian regime's acceptance of the points suggested by the Arab League's initiative."

The group urged Syrians to stage "peaceful protests" to "validate whether armed forces ... have been withdrawn from the cities and towns, and whether violence has been stopped, detainees have been released, Arab and international media correspondents have been allowed in the country and if a dialogue has been made possible."

"May tomorrow, Friday, be the day where all streets and squares become platforms for demonstrations and for the peaceful struggle towards achieving the downfall of the regime."

The Arab League plan won international endorsement, with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon saying it was vital that Assad's regime now swiftly implement the terms of the roadmap "as soon as possible as agreed."

The United States and Britain echoed his comments.

"As the Arab League has made clear, it is vital that the plan is implemented quickly and fully," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague, adding that the only real way to end the bloodshed was for Assad to go.

Washington agreed that Assad should resign because he "lost his legitimacy to rule," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, who led the Arab League's mediation efforts, said "if Syria does not respect its commitments, the ministerial committee will meet again and take the necessary decisions."

Comments 17
Default-user-icon Noreply (Guest) 03 November 2011, 10:45

Great! That's commitment! They did not even wait for Friday... But who believed one minute that Bashar and his dogs would respect their own words???

Missing peace 03 November 2011, 14:10

no comment to add as to how commited the syrians are in respecting the word they give....

Default-user-icon Beiruti (Guest) 03 November 2011, 15:07

See, what did I tell you. Not 24 hours after Assad solemnly promised to abide by the Arab League document, he is out killing his people again. Why? Because he feels it is necessary for Syrians to feel the Assad boot on their necks before they will again submit to his Regime.

Now where in that Assad strategy for survival is the Arab League commitment to "dialogue leading to reform"? I will tell you where it is, it is no where. He signed a meaningless piece of paper that has no teeth and therfore cannot hurt him.

Assad does not govern Syria by law, or by consensus, but only through brute force, intimidation and fear engendered in the people. When the people lose their fear of the Assad praetorian guards, then Assad has lost his authority to govern. This has happened. The genie is out of the bottle and can't be put back.
To implement the Arab League accord would result in the end of the Regime. And this Assad willl not voluntarily do.

Thumb cedar 03 November 2011, 15:33

If there is a flashpoint, and rioters are using lethal force, do you expect the syrian army to stand there and get killed ?? do you expect any army or security force to stand there and get killed?

The Report states that no timetable was set for troop withdrawal, so WHY NAHARNET have you indicated on the first paraghraph of this report that damascus pledged to withdraw troops and one day later there is bloodshead, the tone to this story is bias.

and its always some 'human rights group' that comes up with they hear this and they saw that, id love for an independent varification on all of this.... where is it ???? - oh It dosent exist, that right, because this whole thing is Western made propaganda to get the Sunni Brotherhood in control of Syria.

Blahhh blahh blahh

Default-user-icon to cedar (Guest) 03 November 2011, 16:36

cedar you idiot there is no independent verification because Syria does not allow regional or international media or other UN/objective bodies to be present in Syria, so how can anything be independent?
I'm sure if we had access to objective views you would see even more brutality and torture than the few amateur youtube videos we were able to access.

Nothing "cedar" or Lebanese about the way you think. change your name to ASSad

Missing peace 03 November 2011, 16:47

@cedar: you d better reread yourself and be careful in the falsifications you write! this is typical pro syrian propaganda!

"because this whole thing is Western made propaganda to get the Sunni Brotherhood in control of Syria"

western countries have always been against this organisation so why would they want them to take the power in syria!
why did they leave moubarak or ben ali in power so long? so that they could control the muslim brotherhood!!
why aren t they doing anything in syria? because they don t want the brotherhood to replace bashar their ally!!!

you are so funny and full of contradiction.

Thumb cedar 03 November 2011, 17:15

@ peace thank you for your comment, at least your better than a thumbs down without an explanation...

I am not Syrian, in fact the state of Lebanon would not exist if it was not for my familys input...

Just two things bro... Ive seen Syrian tv and millions of people in support of Assad (even though he is a prick!)
Ive been informed that these so called "anti assad rallies" are provoked by only a handfull of members of the brotherhood, and they infiltrate themselves in crowds - then dissapear ...
When you look at Aljazeera or CNN or other footage, you cant ever see any prolonged rally, its always moving, and its always short bursts... These are not the types of actual legitimate rallys, they are false. (even though we all want assad to go die...) The footage on TV is also never from a varifiable news service, always some random persons video phone... it just dosent add up ...

i think its American made - as condalesa rice said 4 years ago, the middle east as we know it wil change...

Default-user-icon Gabby (Guest) 03 November 2011, 17:40

Hey Arab League.....are you scoring how many dead under the extension you gave Bashar? Everyone knows he won't live up to any commitment. A killer is always a killer.

Missing peace 03 November 2011, 17:57

@cedar: the fact that the syrian regime doesn t allow any TV other than their official channel proves that this regime is afraid of these demos of people.
As long as they do not allow tv to cover these events means that whether they have something to hide or they want the world to believe only what they say!
no one can have an objective point of view...
so saying that the muslim brotherhood has triggered everything is also propaganda...they certainly try to take advantage of the situation but saying that they are the ones that organized everything is only pure speculation.

only a full coverage of the events by different medias would benefit to the regime if what they say is true! but hiding everything means the regime doesn t want the truth to be shown...

Thumb cedar 03 November 2011, 17:59

@ peace: i agree with you

Default-user-icon xxx (Guest) 03 November 2011, 18:55

they're going to be as effective in stopping bashar from slaughtering syrians as they were in stopping his father from slaughtering lebanese in 78, 81, 89 ..

Missing realist 03 November 2011, 19:06

hey CEDAR, do you remember the millions in support of QADAFE in tripoli??? where are they now?? do not be fooled with mass pro dictator demos. Another question: how come pro rallies go on peacefuly and anti rallies are shot at with tanks and mortars?! have you asked urself??! please do not use the twisted logic of the dunia tv that no sane person in the world buys. Of course after 8 months of brutal repression some people and army defectors are going to start shooting back and they have all the right in the world to do so. Just imagine for a second if the regime does withdrawl the army from the cities.. can you imagine the size of the anti demos at that point?!! do u remember the 1/2 million in 7ama and deir zoor?? i promise you the day will come when you see those millions take the streets. Presidents who enjoy popular support and have nothing to fear do not use tanks and mass murder/arrests.

Default-user-icon Baba 3amr (Guest) 03 November 2011, 20:17

The Syrian Regime to be fired after a love affair between him and more than one of Kadhafi's sons was diclosed by the Hague Tribunal.

Thumb shab 03 November 2011, 20:41

must ve a very proud goverment

Missing youssefhaddad 03 November 2011, 22:51

Dictators cannot fight along freedom fighters. The Arabs can talk but they will not take effective measures to stop Assad who at this point is a proven criminal and should be brought to justice.
Regretfully the Syrian people are left to fend for themselves. They might receive individual support but none of the Arab despots will move further than talking!

Default-user-icon Le PheneChien (Guest) 04 November 2011, 01:40

Few words: Allow the media to uncover the truth.
Let's all see the truth and who is killing who, let's interview all sides and let democracy rule the situation at which point we can ALL agree that reform has started.

Default-user-icon Treemo (Guest) 04 November 2011, 09:06

Peace cannot be achieved before all the Sunni crazies are terminated, in Syria and in Lebanon AND EVERYWHERE. Look at the US how it is struggling with these crazies in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Yemen and in Somalia. 3alehom