DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrian troops killed 17 people on Friday as demonstrators, denouncing "despots and tyrants," took to the streets to test the regime's commitment to an Arab peace deal calling for an end to violence. Washington had already warned that the signs were not encouraging after troops killed 20 civilians on Thursday -- the first day the hard-won agreement aimed at ending nearly eight month of bloodshed came into effect. France echoed the US concerns on Friday, saying Syria was breaking its commitments to the Arab deal by continuing a deadly crackdown on protesters, and cast doubt on President Bashar al-Assad's dedication to the deal. s more deaths were reported, the government offered an amnesty to anyone who surrenders weapons by November 12, linking the offer to the Eid al-Adha Muslim feast that begins on Sunday. Troops raked several residential neighbourhoods of Homs -- a city of some one million people that has been one of the hubs of the protests raging since mid-March -- which heavy machineguns mounted on tanks, a watchdog said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 people were killed across Syria, six of them in Homs. Further north in Hama four civilians were shot, while four people were killed in the town of Kanaker, outside the capital, and a protester was shot dead by security forces in Damascus. Two more people were killed, one of them an army deserter, when troops opened fire on a group of people trying to slip across the border into Jordan, the Britain-based Observatory said. In the Mediterranean coastal city of Banias, security forces laid siege to the Abu Bakr Siddiq mosque and beat up worshippers as they attempted to demonstrate after weekly prayers, it said. They also arrested dozens of people from their homes, "including four children closely related to Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman," the watchdog said. Video footage posted on YouTube showed dozens of demonstrators, some masked, marching through the historic Midan neighbourhood of Damascus, chanting anti-Assad slogans. Protesters in Harasta just outside Damascus, described Assad as a "liar" who has no intention of implementing the Arab roadmap. Demonstrators also chanted: "Allah will overcome tyrants and despots" -- echoing the slogan of Friday's protests which activists called to "validate" whether the government was implementing terms of the Arab peace deal. "The more the regime kills and oppresses us, the more it boosts our resolve ... to gain our liberty," activists wrote on the Facebook page of the Syrian Revolution 2011, one of the key engines of the protests. There has been enormous scepticism among opponents about the regime's readiness to call off its troops and enter meaningful negotiations with the opposition as it promised under the deal unveiled on Wednesday. The doubt were echoed by France and the United States. "The continuing repression can only strengthen the international community's doubts about the Syrian regime's sincerity to implement the Arab League peace plan," French foreign ministry deputy spokesman Romain Nadal said in Paris. In Washington US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday said: "We have not seen any evidence that the Assad regime intends to live up to the commitments that it's made." "We will predict that, if he (Assad) doesn't meet his promises to the Arab League, the Arab League is going to feel that they had promises made, promises broken, and they're going to have to react," Nuland added. The Arab League put Syria to task on Friday and said Arab and international media should apply to Syrian authorities to enter the country, since unfettered media access was part of the deal approved by Syria. Meanwhile, Syrian authorities announced an amnesty to mark the end of the annual Muslim hajj, or pilgrimage, and the start Sunday of Eid al-Adha feast. "The interior ministry invites those who carry arms, who sold them, distributed them, bought them or financed their purchase and who have not committed any murder to turn themselves in and surrender their weapons to the nearest police station in their district ... from Saturday, November 5 to November 12," state television reported. Those who heed the call "will walk free ... and receive an amnesty," it said. Syrian authorities have used forced to crush almost daily anti-regime protests since mid-March, and more than 3,000 people have been killed according to UN estimates. Pro-democracy protesters insist their campaign is peaceful while the government says it has been battling "armed terrorist groups".