A Syrian naval and tank assault to crush dissent in a northern port city has killed at least 23 people, according to human rights activists.
Amateur footage is said to show the scene in Latakia in a further sign that the military campaign against pro-democracy protesters is intensifying.
Other pictures, said to be from the besieged city of Deir al-Zor, show stick-wielding men beating civilians. Syrian authorities have expelled most independent media, making it difficult to verify events on the ground.
During the fasting month of Ramadan, President Assad’s forces have stepped up a crackdown, triggering sanctions and condemnation abroad.
Damascus insists it is dealing with ‘armed terrorist groups’ and a foreign conspiracy to divide the country.