Syria has reportedly deployed helicopter gunships for the first time to repress popular protests against the Bashar al-Assad regime. According to the opposition, they opened fire on a crowd that had taken over a police station after its occupants fled in the town of Maaret al-Nouman. Heavy loss of life was reported.
After another Friday that saw huge demonstrations all over Syria at least 25 people were killed, and the flow of refugees from the north-west towards Turkey gained pace. Turkish press reported about 36 dead.
Around Jisr al-Shughour fields have been set ablaze after the army moved in yesterday. It is feared the same fate awaits Maaret al-Nouman.
Turkey has been welcoming Syrian refugees since the start of the unrest. It now looks after at least 4300, with the number growing day by day.