SYRIAN TROOPS STORM TOWN NEAR TURKISH BORDER AND KILL AT LEAST 5

Rebels say on August 11, 2011, that the Syrian army stormed a northwestern town near Turkey’s border on , and shot dead on that day at least five people in a western town near the Lebanese border, activists said to AP in Lebanon.

The shooting in the town of Qusair also wounded 16 other people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Damascus-based Abdul-Karim Rihawi, head of the Syrian Human Rights League, said seven people were killed.

Anti-government protests are common in Qusair and, combined with the early morning assault on the town of Saraqeb near the Turkish border, reflected the determination of President Bashar Assad to crush the five-month old uprising despite mounting international condemnation.

The attack on Saraqeb is particularly noteworthy because it sits in Idlib, a province bordering Turkey. Intense protests in the area triggered a harsh government response, forcing hundreds of Syrians to flee across the border. The military on Wednesday said it withdrew from residential districts in the area and returned to its barracks.

Troops detained at least 100 people in Saraqeb, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Explosions and gunfire reverberated through the area after the army rolled in, said the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group that helps organize and document the protests.

The military action came a day after the information ministry ferried local journalists to Idlib. A senior army officer told reporters that troops were withdrawing to their barracks, leaving residential districts in the province’s cities.

On the same day, Syrian security forces shot dead at least 15 people in the central flashpoint city of Homs, according to the LCC.

The Obama administration, which announced new sanctions Wednesday, is preparing for the first time to explicitly call for Assad to step down, officials have told the AP. The moves are a direct response to Assad’s decision to escalate the crackdown by sending the army into opposition hotbeds.

The new sanctions affect the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria and its Lebanon-based subsidiary, the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, for what the U.S. says are their links to human rights abuses and to illegal weapons trade with North Korea.

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One Response to “SYRIAN TROOPS STORM TOWN NEAR TURKISH BORDER AND KILL AT LEAST 5”

  1. Cecil Burbine Says:

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