Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Arab observers enter Syria, 45 killed on Monday
Baba Amr neighbourhood in Homs under fire on Monday
Syrian army tanks were seen pulling out of Homs on Tuesday as a team of Arab League peace monitors headed for a first look at the protest hotbed city where 34 people were reported killed in the previous 24 hours.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited reports from opposition activists in Homs saying at least 11 tanks had left a district they attacked on Monday, and that other tanks were being hidden.
Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad say districts of Syria's third biggest city have been hammered by government troops and tanks in recent days, with the Baba Amr neighborhood taking a pounding from tank fire, mortars and heavy machineguns.
The arrival of the observers and 10 Arab League officials came as activists reported the deaths of at least 45 people around the country on Monday (34 of them in Homs).
An advance team of monitors arrived in Damascus on Thursday to lay the groundwork for the observer mission to oversee the implementation of the peace plan.
Burhan Ghalioun, head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), said some of the observers were in Homs "but they are saying they cannot go where the authorities do not want them to go".