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      Syrian Tanks Deploy Around Banias in North

      Assad's tanks outside northern coastal city, as Dara'a siege is eased.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 5/5/2011, 9:42 PM / Last Update: 5/5/2011, 10:06 PM

       

      Syrian military forces deployed near the northern coastal city of Banias Thursday. Eyewitnesses saw dozens of soldiers and several tanks outside the city.
       
      A resident of Banias called the situation "very worrisome."
       
      Earlier Thursday, Syrian forces reportedly began pulling out of Dara'a in southern Syria, after besieging the town for more than a week. 
       
      United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said during the day that he had spoken with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and complained to him about violations of human rights in suppression of the protests in the country. He said that he had called on Assad to advance reforms "before it is too late."
       
      French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said that France and other EU countries were drawing up sanctions to be placed upon Syria's leaders. He said a final list of officials to be targeted had not yet been agreed upon.
       
      "We are currently finalizing the list of people whose assets will be placed under limitations and France wants to see Syrian president Bashar Assad on the list," he noted.