May 19 - Syrian military deploys tanks near the border with Lebanon, as the U.S. steps up efforts to pressurise President Assad into halting the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Sunita Rappai reports.
This is the Syrian village of Arida - on the border between Syria and Lebanon. These images, from a Reuters cameraman at the northern Lebanese border, show Syrian troops backed by tanks deploying in Arida on Thursday. Lebanese soldiers can also be seen fanned out across the other side. Earlier, gunfire was heard coming from the town. Syrian troops had entered it on Saturday, killing at least 27 civilians, according to one rights activist. A Syrian refugee in Lebanon called for action against Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE IN LEBANON SAYING: "We want justice. They have to punish this man, he is a killer and a criminal. They are entering into houses and attacking the honour of the people. This is not the army, these are the 'shabeeha' who are raiding houses and killing children. There are many bodies on the ground and no one is doing anything about them." Syria has barred most international media from operating in the country, making it hard to verify reports from activists and officials. Washington on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Assad, dramatically increasing pressure to halt the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Sunita Rappai, Reuters