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Syria says revolt over, army to pull out gradually
News Daily ^ | 3/31/2012 | Douglas Hamilton and Erika Solomon

Posted on 03/31/2012 6:47:29 PM PDT by U-238

Syria says the year-long revolt to topple President Bashar al-Assad is now over, but it will keep its forces in cities to "maintain security" until it is safe to withdraw in keeping with a U.N.-backed peace deal.

The agreement proposed by United Nations-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian authorities must be first to withdraw troops and stop violence immediately.

The army kept up an offensive against opposition strongholds on Saturday, pummelling the Khalidiya district of Homs city.

"Mortars are falling every minute and the sounds of explosions are shaking the neighborhood," an activist report said. A child was killed by rocket fire in the al-Bayyada area and a man was killed in crossfire in clashes near a checkpoint.

Rebels battled army forces near a base in Jaramaneh in Damascus province. Five bodies bearing signs of torture were found near Maarat al-Noaman, the report said. A soldier was killed when rebels ambushed a troop carrier in Deraa province.

Despite the violence, Damascus says it has the upper hand.

"The battle to topple the state is over," Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi told Syria TV late on Friday. "Our goal now is to ensure stability and create a perspective for reform and development in Syria while preventing others from sabotaging the path of reform."

His assertion follows army victories over rebel strongholds in the cities of Hama, Homs and Idlib, and Assad's acceptance this week of Annan's plan that does not demand he step down.

Calls by Gulf Arab states to arm the rebels have fizzled. The political opposition remains divided, and prospects of Western-led military intervention are close to zero.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alassad; assad; damascus; hezbollah; israel; syria; syrianarmy; waronterror

1 posted on 03/31/2012 6:47:41 PM PDT by U-238
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Oh yeah, and before they forget, the shooting and shelling stopped like, a really long time ago. All that sound of violence, it was all from foreign terrorists.

Thanks U-238.

2 posted on 03/31/2012 6:51:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: U-238

What Abe Lincoln did to the South makes this guy Assad look like a hippie peacenik.

3 posted on 03/31/2012 6:52:28 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Rick Santorum voted against Right toWork)
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To: Rome2000

The crackdown will continue. The article mentioned that the Syrian Army is still shelling Homs. It will not end until the Russians and the Iranian “advisors” leave the country. There is no evidence that is happening

4 posted on 03/31/2012 6:55:39 PM PDT by U-238
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To: SunkenCiv

Tourists, huh? Damn, they’re annoying.

5 posted on 04/01/2012 1:41:22 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
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To: U-238

Hopefully this ends soon. There are TWO MILLION Christians in Syria. The best that can happen is that this ALL ends very soon.

6 posted on 04/01/2012 4:08:10 PM PDT by BobL
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To: U-238
Assad, like father, like son. Ruthless.

But I support him. He's a SOB, but at least we are familiar with him. And he protects the Christian minority. Including many Christian refugees from Iraq.

7 posted on 04/01/2012 4:15:02 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: BobL

Bump to your comment. Also, I’ll like to add that Assad is part of the Shiite minority in Syria. If he gets overthrown, Shiites will get screwed. (In addition to the Christians)

8 posted on 04/01/2012 4:17:35 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican; SunkenCiv

I had a chance to speak to sister in law yesterday who is a Syrian Christian and the Syrian government has cut all phone and cell phone lines into the country. The only exception is for government officials,police and army personnel.

9 posted on 04/01/2012 5:24:51 PM PDT by U-238
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