Thousands flee Jisr al-Shughour as Syrian army advances

Government says army to vanquish “armed gangs” responsible for violence

Tanks and soldiers descended upon the Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughour on Friday, as thousands of residents fled over the nearby Turkish border. The expected army crackdown comes after 120 security forces were allegedly killed in the town. The government blames “armed gangs” for the violence while Syrian state television is reporting that civilians are greeting the troops as liberators. But Syrians who have fled into Turkey say Syrian police turned their guns and each other and that soldiers in the town took off their uniforms after refusing to fire on civilians protesting the rule of President Bashar Assad. Due to Syrian restrictions on media access, it has been impossible to independently verify these claims.

The Globe and Mail

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