June 8 - Amateur video out of Syria shows demonstrators and soldiers in Jisr al-Shughour, as more Syrians flee to Turkey. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video out of Syria shows night time demonstrations in Jisr al-Shughour. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters was purportedly shot on June 6. Exactly what happened in the northwestern town is a matter of debate. State media says more than 120 security personnel were killed by gunmen roaming the streets. Residents and activists say the casualties followed a mutiny among forces sent to quell civilian protests. More footage is said to show Syrian forces driving towards the city. Parts of the city itself, which witnessed one one of the bloodiest episodes in nearly 12 weeks for protests against President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year rule, are now quiet. Syria has barred most foreign media from the country, making it hard to verify events. As the violence persists residents continue to flee. On Wednesday more than 170 people crossed into Turkey. Turkey threw open its borders to anxious Syrian refugees while urging the Syrian government to curb violence against civilians One man from Jisr al-Shughoura spoke of what had happened. SOUNDBITE: Syrian refugee, saying (Arabic): "Since last Friday soldiers have started to come. They shut the bakeries and cut the water to the town. Word came that they would attack us. Everyone started to try and flee towards the border. Soldiers attacked houses, and men, women and children regardless.On Saturday helicopters came, they opened fire on protesters, there were lots of injured and dead. There are more than 120 people injured, 75 to 80 dead." Turkey estimates that nearly 500 Syrians have crossed the border since since March. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters