Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 8:49 am
"Syria's army suspended days of punishing attacks on the restive city of Homs," The Associated Press writes, "and began withdrawing its tanks Tuesday just as Arab League monitors visited the area and met with local leaders, activists and officials said."
But the independent Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors reports from those activists, says it has been told that the tanks were not moved far and were only five minutes away from their previous positions.
It adds that:
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights considers that this 'show' of the withdrawal of the armoured military vehicles today's morning prior to the arrival of Arab League delegation proves the regime continuatin in deception. Also, it shows its attempt to circumvent the Arab League mission in order to give credibility to its false stories and deny the crystal clear fact that there is hunge political crisis and a 'popular revolution', by all the standards, by the Syrian people who are trying to regain power, freedom and dignity."
[That passage is posted "as written."]
As al-Jazeera reports, the Arab League observers' mission "is part of a plan seeking to put an end to the government's crackdown, which the United Nations estimates to have killed more than 5,000 people since March."
According to the BBC, "thousands of demonstrators" took to the streets in Homs today — one day after at least 30 people were killed there when government forces "shelled parts of the city."