Syrian troops take over northwestern town
BEIRUT (AP) — Two activists say Syrian troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships have taken over a northwestern town days after laying siege to it.
Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso says large numbers of soldiers entered Maaret al-Numan early Friday. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties in the operation.
Many of the residents of Maaret al-Numan, a town of 100,000 on the highway linking Damascus with Syria's largest city, Aleppo, have fled following last week's operations in the northwestern province of Idlib near the Turkish border.
Omar Idilbi of the Local Coordination Committees, a group that documents anti-government protests, said troops are in full control of the town.
Human rights activists say more than 1,400 Syrians have been killed and 10,000 have been detained in the government crackdown.