Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Assad Regime Crackdown Continues Amid Reports of Syrian Troops Defecting; Syrian Army Masses at Turkish Border

As troops loyal to the Bashr al-Assad regime continued their crackdown of anti government protesters, media reports claim that defecting soldiers and policemen are among the thousands of Syrian refugees streaming into southwestern Turkey.
Unwilling to open fire on demonstrators who have taken to the streets chanting the revolutionary slogans of uprisings across the Arab world, some Syrian troops have chosen to lay down their arms and flee to neighboring countries like Turkey.

It is difficult to estimate how many have done so, partly because they are afraid to speak out and partly due to severe restrictions on foreign media reporting in Syria, which makes it hard to corroborate accounts inside the country.

But Internet videos have begun increasingly to surface in recent weeks of men displaying military insignia and identification cards who say they have left an army that has used tanks and guns to suppress protesters calling for freedom.

Assad has relied on the armed forces, whose commanders are mostly from his minority Alawite sect, to crack down on protesters, who are mostly from the majority Sunni population.
Syrian troops have been massing along the Turkish border, occupying positions in border villages and attempting to block the flow of refugees to Turkey during the Assad regime's crackdown. The deteriorating situation within Syria has caused Turkish forces to be on aert and raised tensions across tge region.

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