According to a top human rights lawyer in the country, Syrian troops have killed 11 civilians and wounded scores of others in and around the city of Homs, as soldiers backed by tanks invaded Talbiseh and other towns in the area.
“Soldiers are now all over Talbiseh. They are breaking into houses and arresting people,” one resident told Reuters news agency. Syria’s state media agency confirmed the operations, but insisted they targeted “terrorist groups.” They also claimed four soldiers were killed and 14 others wounded.
Syrian forces have been looking toward the area around Homs since early this month, when they finished a massive crackdown in the key coastal city of Baniyas. It is the latest in a long effort by the military to crush pro-democracy protests across the nation.
If history is any indication, the violence will only increase the number of protesters in the street. Starting from a few hundred people in the tiny southern city of Daraa, months of crackdowns have swelled into a nationwide phenomenon in Syria, with large numbers of people urged into the street by the threat of violence, not scared away.