At least 20 civilians have been killed in clashes with government troops in Syria on Thursday, a day after Damascus pledged to withdraw its forces from protest centers under a deal with the Arab League to end months of bloody massacre, Al Arabiya TV reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilians were killed in Homs, a flashpoint for the unrest, where troops reportedly used tank-mounted machineguns.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi met Syrian opposition figures on Thursday, a day after Damascus agreed to open talks with dissidents, a member of the Syrian National Council said.
Arabi “briefed us on the details of the Arab League initiative and its goals … aimed at finding an Arab solution to the Syrian crisis based on the need to stop the bloodshed in Syria,” said Samir al-Nashar, a member of the executive bureau of the largest and most representative Syrian opposition group, SNC.
The SNC on Wednesday urged the Arab League to freeze Syria’s membership in the Arab League and recognize it as the sole representative of the Syrian opposition.