Syrians Flee Approaching Tanks

Jisr al-Shughour braces for military assault
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2011 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Syrians are fleeing to Turkey as residents of Jisr al-Shughour brace for a military assault, with troops in tanks and armored vehicles approaching the now nearly empty town. Turkey promised to accept the refugees as its prime minister, who has had a good relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, called for an end to the violence against civilian protesters. Assad’s government accused “gangs” of killing 120 security men in Jisr al-Shughour Friday and vowed to respond “with force.”

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But residents report an army mutiny, not the ambush the government claims, Reuters reports. Three months of unrest have already cost more than 1,000 lives, and this latest incident has other nations worried the violence could increase. France and Britain will put forward a UN Security Council resolution today condemning Assad’s actions and demanding humanitarian access, but Russia—which holds a veto—has indicated it will not back intervention. (Read more Syria stories.)

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