Sunday, June 12, 2011

Forces attack Syrian border town, residents flee

Syrian tanks and helicopters raided on Sunday in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, residents said, and state television reported heavy fighting between soldiers and gunmen who are opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. A senior Turkish diplomat said four thousand 300 Syrian refugees had crossed the border and were being treated in hospitals and camps, but a Western envoy said the number was higher and witnesses said some 10 000 people were near the border.

The assault on al-Jisr Shughour, situated on a strategic route in the northwest of Syria, is the ultimate measure of the armed forces to crush the revolt in demand for political freedoms and an end to the oppression it represents an unprecedented challenge to the mandate 11-year-Assad. Residents said earlier that most civilians fled the city to the Turkish border, located about 20 miles away, while tanks and helicopters attacked the area.

"They are producing strong clashes between army units and members of armed groups that take positions around Jisr al-Shughour and within the city," Syrian state television reported. Army units dismantled bombs and explosive charges placed by gunmen on bridges and roads in the town, he said.

"Two members of armed groups were killed, many of them have been arrested and seized lethal weapons they had in their possession," the report said. Syria banned from working for most foreign correspondents in the country, making it difficult to verify facts. The state news agency said after entering the city that military units "cleared the national hospital of armed elements."

No comments:

Post a Comment