Pro-democracy protests in Syria have been met with a fresh crackdown. Troops stormed a region near the border with Turkey in what activists claim is a major military thrust to quell the demonstrations and pursue army defectors.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 100 arrests by forces loyal to President Assad, who says the demonstrations are orchestrated by terrorists.
“We demonstrate to claim our rights, our justice, our freedom. They say we are terrorists and we want to make an Islamic republic here. I say it’s a big lie. In all of Syria, Christians and Muslims are brothers,” said one protestor.
At least four people were killed when the troops swept into 10 villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya area report witnesses.
Activists claim Assad troops have wrecked homes in their search for high ranking deserters.
In the wake of the protests, Arab and international rights groups have turned to the Arab League and called on it to suspend Syria’s membership.