Troops And Tanks Remain, But Truce Begins In Syria

The early word from Syria is that “flashpoints of the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad were quiet Thursday … suggesting a U.N.-brokered truce was starting to take hold and the regime was keeping a pledge to halt its assault on opposition strongholds,” The Associated Press reports.

Still, NPR’s Grant Clark reports from Beirut that some activists inside Syria say government forces did fire at least a few shells toward a suburb of Damascus and that there were other ceasefire violations by government forces in Idlib and Hama provinces. No casualties have been reported, Grant also tells our Newscast Desk.

Al-Jazeera starts its report with this:

“An internationally brokered ceasefire in Syria has come into effect with few reports of violence, but the government has not begun withdrawing troops and armored vehicles from civilian areas, leaving a key part of the peace plan unfulfilled.”

The Guardian, which is live blogging as the day continues, calls the mood in Syria “tense” as the ceasefire hopefully goes into effect. Voice of America’s headline says an “uneasy quiet” has descended on Syria.

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