Syria threatens city they claim fought back against government

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in YerevanImage by PanARMENIAN_Photo via Flickr

Syria's government has vowed to deal "decisively" with the gunmen blamed for the deaths of 120 security personnel in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour.

Interior Minister Ibrahim Shaar said it would "not be silent about any armed attack that targets the security of the state and its citizens".

Residents later warned that there would be massive bloodshed if the authorities attempted to restore control by force.

Some witnesses have cast doubt on the government's account of the unrest.

The reports in state media came a day after human rights activists said at least 40 residents and police had been killed in Jisr al-Shughour.

The government launched a crackdown on Saturday, following demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers.

On Friday, in a dramatic series of urgent flashes, state television said hundreds of gunmen who taken over Jisr al-Shughour, which lies about 20km (12 miles) from the Turkish border, and had committed "a real massacre".

A report said the fighting had begun at dawn, when "armed gangs" ambushed police as they approached the town "to rescue citizens being terrorised". Twenty officers reportedly died.

I do not find the government explanation credible. It appears in the nature of a pretext for further massacres by the government of the people of Syria. The Assad regime has been murdering non combatants for weeks now with everything from tanks to snipers and it stretches credulity to believe that these civilians acquired the weapons to ambush and kill a large number of government security personnel.
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