September 14, 2011 / 10:01 AM / 8 years ago

Armoured Syrian forces thrust into region near Turkey

AMMAN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Syrian armoured columns stormed a rugged region near the border with Turkey on Wednesday in an expansion of a major military thrust into the northwest of the country to quell pro-democracy protests and pursue army defectors, local activists said.

They said hundreds of troops, accompanied by dozens of armoured vehicles and buses carrying security forces and armed men loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, fired heavy machineguns randomly as they swept into at least 10 villages and towns in Jabal al-Zawiya from a nearby highway, after blocking off entrances to the region and cutting off communications. (Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom)

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