Assad holds 'dialogue:' Tanks rumble into Homs

What is more significant? Whatever Syria's President Assad was saying to the opposition in talks aimed at reforming his dictatorial rule or the specter of tanks rolling in to another restless city and machine gun fire echoing through the streets?


Rights activists and residents say Syrian troops backed by armored vehicles have stormed into the central city of Homs, killing at least one person and wounding 20 others.

The witnesses said the attacks Monday included troops firing machine guns.

The clashes come as Syria holds the second day of a national dialogue on political reform. Some opposition activists and intellectuals have joined the talks, but most prominent Syrian dissidents boycotted the conference to protest President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on the opposition uprising.

During the first day of talks Sunday, a number of speakers condemned the government's security forces and its violence against protesters. But others repeated Assad's contention that foreign agitators are attempting to destabilize Syria.

Assad apparently prefers allowing his tanks to do his talking for him.