Syrian Troops Widen Crackdown

A couple of days after taking back control of Jisr al-Shughour town, Syrian troops headed for another town as part of President Bashar al-Assad continued crackdown against opposition groups calling for political change in the Western Asian Arab republic.

Reuters said that military tanks and helicopters appeared headed to the town of Maarat al-Numaan, one of the areas considered a stronghold of protesters calling for the ouster of al-Assad, whose family has controlled the country for more than four decades. The massive crackdown is believed to be al-Assad’s response to last week’s deadly attack against Syrian troops in Jisr al-Shughour, where the government said 120 security officers perished.

Assad’s use of violence to end the Syrian uprising has forced thousands of people to seek refuge in neighboring Turkey, which has put the number of refugees at more than 8,000. Thousands more are expected to cross the border as the crack down continues.