Syrian tanks shell villages in Idlib region, residents say

June 29, 2011 00:47


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AMMAN - Syrian tanks shelled a hill region in the northwestern province of Idlib, residents and activists said on Tuesday, in a widening military assault to crush protests in rural regions that drove thousands of refugees to Turkey.

"I can hear heavy explosions 20 km to the north, around the villages of Rama and Orum al-Joz. My relatives there say the shelling is random," said a resident of Kin Safra village in Jabal al-Zawya region, west of the main highway linking the cities of Hama and Aleppo.

Opposition figure Ammar al-Qarabi, head of the Syrian National Organization for Human Rights said the shelling appeared in preparation for storming Jabal al-Zawyya, a region of several villages 35 km south of Turkey that has been witnessing spreading protests against the 11 year rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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