Syrian Army Leaves Deir Ezzor after 10-Day Operation

Dozens of Syrian army vehicles left the eastern protest hub of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday after a 10-day operation in which activists say up to 30 people were killed, an Agence France Presse journalist on a government tour of the city reported.

"The army conducted a quick and sensible operation in Deir Ezzor in order to restore stability and calm at the request of residents," who complained of "armed groups," an officer told reporters.

Syria has repeatedly said it is battling "armed gangs" -- a claim denied by rights groups who say the crackdown has killed 1,827 civilians since mid-March, while 416 security forces have also died.

In the first two weeks of August, since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 260 people, including 14 women and 31 children, have been killed, according to a count by the protest coordinating committees.

Source: Agence France Presse

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