Syria tanks enter southern town, Homs neighborhoods

Tanks, troops also storm residential neighborhoods in Homs, Tafas, Dael; mass arrests continue in Banias as soldiers raid homes.

Protestors in Syria 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Protestors in Syria 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
AMMAN - Syrian forces entered the town of Tafas near Deraa in the southwestern Hauran Plain on Sunday, residents said, in a campaign aimed at crushing an uprising across the country against autocratic Baathist rule.
Tanks and troops also stormed two main neighborhoods in Homs overnight, human rights campaigners said, in the first incursion into residential areas in Syria's third city.
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In Banias on the Mediterranean coast, where rights campaigners said Syrian forces shot dead six civilians in an attack on Sunni districts on Saturday, mass arrests continued.
A Western diplomat has said 7,000 people had been arrested since mid-March.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 200 more people have been arrested in Banias by soldiers in raids on houses in the city, including a 10-year-old child.
The attack on Banias this weekend raised sectarian tensions.

The United States, reacting to the death of 27 protesters on Friday, threatened to take new steps against Syria's Alawite rulers. Washington imposed more targeted sanctions on Syrian officials that excluded Assad.
The European Union later imposed similar sanctions.
A human rights group says security forces have killed at least 800 civilians in the seven-week uprising.


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