Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Syrian troops depart Hama but violence erupts in other Syrian cities



Syria's military is withdrawing Wednesday from the restive city of Hama, more than a week after security forces besieged the city to crack down on a major epicenter of anti-government sentiment.

This comes as violence erupted in other towns and amid international cries for Syria's government to end its brutal drive on peaceful protesters intensified.

Scores of deaths have been reported in the siege on the western city of Hama, a push coinciding with last week's start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting and reflection. That offensive exacerbated world condemnation toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Syrian army units left the city "after restoring the security and stability to the city that have been though tough times due to the acts of killings, terrorizing and sabotage that was done by the armed terrorists groups," the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said on Wednesday. An officer in the army told journalists that soldiers went back to their bases.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday Turkish Ambassador to Syria Omer Onhon went to Hama and confirmed that tanks and heavy weapons were withdrawn and there is no military buildup "in its surroundings." (more)