Syrians Actually Cease Fire

But opposition complains that Assad still hasn't withdrawn troops

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 12, 2012 8:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Against all odds, both sides appear to be more or less honoring this morning's ceasefire deadline in Syria. Though the night saw heavy fighting, in most places the gunfire stopped by dawn. "Everywhere is quiet," a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights official tells the Washington Post. "We have no shooting or shelling in all of Syria." That's not entirely true; activists say security forces shot and killed a man at a Hama checkpoint, according to Reuters. But apart from that it was the first casualty-free day in months.

But the exiled opposition says the regime has "only partially observed" the peace plan, because it hasn't withdrawn its troops and tanks from towns. They're urging protesters to return to the streets for the first time in months, despite the risk of regime fire. The government, meanwhile, is urging rebels to surrender, promising to free any who have not killed. But so far, the streets are empty. "Snipers, tanks, and soldiers are still there," one activist says. People "believe that this ceasefire is only temporary."

In this Friday, April 6, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters gather on a corner during fighting with Syrian troops in a suburb of Damascus, Syria.
In this Friday, April 6, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters gather on a corner during fighting with Syrian troops in a suburb of Damascus, Syria.   (AP Photo)
In this image made from amateur video purports to show Syrians chanting slogans during a demonstration in Idlib, Syria.
In this image made from amateur video purports to show Syrians chanting slogans during a demonstration in Idlib, Syria.   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)
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