Syria crackdown kills 7: monitors

Syrian forces pressed on with their military operations Sunday in rebel strongholds, mainly in the northwest province of Idlib, as seven people were killed in violence, a monitoring group reported.

In Damascus province, five rebels were killed by regime forces in the village of Beit Jen near Mount Hermon as helicopters flew overhead amid sounds of explosions, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted witnesses as saying.

In the Idlib region, the military launched a major operation east of Jisr al-Shughur with dozens of military vehicles backed by helicopters, it said. A civilian was killed in the city by a sniper, the Observatory said.

Government forces also made arrests in Kfar Nubol amid intensive gunfire as they battled rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

Similar firefights were also reported in Aleppo province and the Barzeh district of Damascus where there was fighting overnight, the Britain-based group said.

Security officers “entered Barzeh in the night, raided houses and arrested several people,” activist Dimashqi al-Dib told AFP via Skype.

In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, security forces entered the town of Al-Qurieh, arresting 14 people. One civilian was killed there, activists said.

In central Hama province security forces deployed en masse in Murk to search for activists.

“They burned houses and cars and arrested several people in the town” near Latamna where 40 civilians were killed 0n Saturday by regime forces, said activist Abu Ghazi al-Hamwi.

Gunfire and explosions were also heard in several neighbourhoods of the central city of Homs.

On Saturday nearly 130 people were killed across Syria, among them 86 civilians, the Observatory said.

<em>Source: AFP</em>