Syrian army pushes into border town, state TV says

Some 15,000 troops, tanks surround Jisr al-Shughour where 120 security forces were reportedly killed; nearly 2,500 Syrians flee to Turkey fearing crackdown; witnesses report gunfire; no reports of casualties.

June 10, 2011 10:57
2 minute read.
Syrian army tanks [illustrative]

Syrian army tanks 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BEIRUT - The Syrian army began a military operation in a restive town near the Turkish border, state television said on Friday, as the country braced for more violent protests against the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Syrian government said earlier that "armed gangs" killed more than 120 security personnel in Jisr al-Shughour, a town of 50,000, earlier this week.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

UN rights boss Pillay calls on Syria to halt 'assault'
Divided IAEA sends Syria to UN Security Council

"Our correspondent in Jisr al-Shughour told us now that in response to people's calls, units from the Syrian Arabic Army started its duties in Jisr al-Shughour ... to arrest armed members," the television said.

Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said residents in the northwestern town told him the army was still advancing towards the town. "They can hear gunfire and so far we do not have any casualty reports," he told Reuters.

Thousands of Syrians in the region fled into Turkey on Thursday fearing the military assault. At least 15,000 troops had deployed near Jisr al-Shughour, which residents said had largely emptied of people.

The latest reports of a government crackdown intensified international concerns over Syria's handling of pro-democracy protests, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world.


Britain, France, Germany and Portugal have asked the UN Security Council to condemn Assad, although veto-wielding Russia has said it would oppose such a move.

World powers have shown no appetite for any Libya-style military intervention in Syria, which has so far shrugged off sanctions and verbal reprimands from abroad.

Tanks deploy outside town

Residents said on Thursday about 40 tanks and troop carriers had deployed about 7 km (4 miles) from Jisr al-Shughour.

Activists and residents say the violence began after a mutiny among security forces who refused to fire at protesters.

Turkey's Red Crescent said it was setting up a second camp near the border to shelter people still crossing from Syria to escape the military build-up.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday 2,400 people had already entered Turkey.

Click for full Jpost coverage of 
turmoil in the Middle East

"Jisr al-Shughour is practically empty. People were not going to sit and be slaughtered like lambs," said one refugee who crossed on Wednesday and who gave his name as Mohammad.

Syria has barred most independent media from the country, making it difficult to verify accounts of the violence.

Assad, 45, has promised reforms even while cracking down on unrest buffeting the country that has become the gravest threat to his 11-year authoritarian rule. Friday prayers have been a focus of protests throughout the revolt.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

November 12, 2018
Can Saudi Arabia compete as Iran flexes its economic muscles in Iraq?