Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Syria expands offensive near Turkey border



Syrian tanks stormed two northwestern towns near the border with Turkey, expanding its military offensive to crush protests, local residents said, a day after Ankara pressed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end killings of civilians.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said at least one woman was killed and 13 people injured on Wednesday when 12 tanks and armoured vehicles, entered the towns of Taftanaz and Sermin, around 30km from the border with Turkey.

In Homs at least 16 people have been killed by security forces, reports from activists said.

Omer Onhon, the Turkish ambassador, visited Hama on Wednesday and said that tanks were moving out of the city ten days after the army stormed in.

Forty personnel carriers decked with Syrian flags rolled out of Hama with soldiers chanting slogans praising embattled Assad, said a journalist from the AFP news agency who visited the city on a tour organised by the authorities.

However, witnesses told Al Jazeera that after Onhon's visit to Hama, where he was told military operations had ended, Syrian army forces moved back into the town. (more)