Syrian forces have stormed the central town of Rastan as their efforts to crush a six-month-old rebellion against President Bashar Assad continue.
The offensive, just north of the city of Homs, began in the early hours of Tuesday and left at least 20 people wounded, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Rastan has been a hotbed of anti-Assad dissent since protests began in mid-March with alleged army deserters clashing with government troops. The Syrian government blames the uprising on armed gangs.
Late on Monday, activists released a video of a man claiming to have defected. He called himself Captain Youssef Hammoud and accused the military of killing innocent people and placing the town of Rastan under “a suffocating siege.”