Monday, March 5, 2012

Syrian troops pursue crackdown in Deraa, Homs

(Reuters) - Syrian forces flooded the city of Deraa on Monday after overnight clashes there and pursued "clean-up" operations in Homs, where the Red Cross was still struggling to gain access to a former rebel bastion.

China said it would send an envoy to Syria to try to halt a conflict that has divided Beijing from Western and Arab powers demanding stronger action against President Bashar al-Assad.

Hundreds of troops and security men fanned out in Deraa, where the anti-Assad revolt flared nearly a year ago, on a scale not seen for months, a resident of the southern city said.

The clampdown followed attacks on security checkpoints in the city centre that were also the most extensive for months. At least one person was killed, the Deraa resident told Reuters.

Outgunned rebels have multiplied hit-and-run assaults across Syria in the last few days to signal their defiance after the military overran the Baba Amr district of Homs. Read More