Syrian troops withdraws from eastern province of Deir al-Zour
Syrian army troops started a full withdrawal Tuesday from the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, which has become a flashpoint of the five-month protests in the country, Xinhua reported.
During a trip organized by the Syrian Information Ministry for Arab and foreign correspondents to Deir al-Zour, a Xinhua reporter witnessed the withdrawal of the troops amid cheerful mood of the residents as security and stability have been restored to the province.
"The situation in Deir al-Zour was difficult and disturbing until the army entered the city and carried out a number of missions to restore tranquility and security," the reporter cited some local residents as saying.
Army troops entered Deir al-Zour on Aug. 8 for what the authorities said as "hunting down armed groups that terrorized people and committed atrocities in the city."
Syria blames the five-month unrest on foreign conspiracy and armed groups.
However, opposition activists said the army was entering some restive cities nationwide to back the security apparatuses in cracking down anti-government protests.
Deir al-Zour, some 432 kilometers east of the capital Damascus, is known for its well-armed clans and tribes that have connections in neighboring Iraq. The area has been a scene of anti-government protests over the past weeks.