Syrian army deploys in eastern city after calls for dialogue
Syrian army personnel were deployed in the eastern city of Talkalakh, activists said Saturday, after officials said troops and tanks were being pulled out of Banias and Deraa.
These military operations aim to quell anti-government protests that began on March 15, DPA reported.
Security barriers were set up at the entrances of the Talkalakh and heavy gunfire was heard, according to activists' accounts.
Security forces deployed in surrounding villages as well.
At least eight people were killed when thousands of people took to the streets following the weekly Friday prayers to protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, protesters said.
Activists have posted online the names of over 750 people who have died, including soldiers and police, since the government crackdown on protests began.
Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud said Friday that the government will embark on a "national dialogue," that would begin next week.
He said that the government is currently working on implementing "a comprehensive political, economical and social reform programme."
"If they want a dialogue, then they will have to engage our martyrs, prisoners and injured," one activist wrote on the Syrian Revolution 2011 group online.
Protesters continued rallying overnight in the southern town of Ibta, chanting "The people want to topple the regime" and "Leave, Leave."