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Thousands of elite troops and convoys of tanks have surrounded towns in northern Syria as refugees continue to flee unrest in the authoritarian country.
Syrian forces have lost control of large areas of the northern province after 11 weeks of violent protests calling for an end to President Bashar Assad's 40-year rule.
Pro-government newspaper Al-Watan reported fighting in Jisr al-Shughour between loyalist troops and defectors in a rare admission of cracks in the regime's tight grip.
Most of the refugees were too frightened to speak to our correspondent.
But one man, who spoke on condition his identity be concealed, said he had made a three-hour trek from Jisr al-Shughour, dodging Syrian soldiers along the way.
"The circumstances there are very difficult," the man told our correspondent. "They are killing children, women, and now they are planning to invade."
He said an estimated 30,000 Syrian soldiers were massing in a nearby village - but added that hundreds of soldiers had also deserted and were also gathering on the border hoping to make an escape into Turkey.
It said troops faced an estimated 2,000 gunmen backed by many young men from local villages, allegedly known for religious extremism.
Originally posted by Agit8dChop
reply to post by deltaboy
yeah for sure, but then it comes a battle of syrian protestor resolve.
you need people who are willing to sacrifice themselves against the army..
without weapons, assistance.. no one will be willing to waste their life because tanks and commando's always wins over unarmed protestors.
Originally posted by Shenon
Syria is a lil different. Intervention there would mean War with Iran (Syria is its biggest Ally) and probably Russia (which has its biggest Naval Base there).
Something will happen there,sure. But how will it End?
Originally posted by Melbourne_Militia
That would surely rattle Russia and China more so than any actions to date against anyone else.
Erdogan: Syrian troops barbaric, 'don't behave like humans'
Syrian troops begin crackdown operation in town where 120 Syrian forces were killed, state TV says; Gates: Assad's legitimacy questionable after "slaughter of innocents"; Turkish PM says can't support Syria in UNSC.
In an escalation of rhetoric towards Syrian President Bashar Assad yet unseen from Ankara, Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Syrian crackdown on protesters "inhumane," and described it as barbaric, Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported on Friday.
As some 2,500 refugees have fled to Turkey in recent days from Syria's northern region where troops and tanks are amassing ahead of an expected offensive, blasted the tactics employed by Syria's elite army units, led by President Assad's brother, Maher.
"Sadly, they don't behave like humans," Erdogan said of the Syrian army's 4th Division, commanded by Maher Assad, according to the report. "Now the barbarity... [soldiers] pose [for a photo] in such an ugly way at the bedside of women who they killed," the Turkish prime minister added, "these images cannot be digested."