The Syrian army has begun operations to "restore security" to the town of Jisr al-Shughour and the surrounding area, state TV says.
Earlier in the week, the Syrian government said 120 security personnel were killed in the north-western town, DPA reported.
The announcement, and the positioning of troops in the area, has prompted a flow of refugees to nearby Turkey.
The government has blamed the deaths on armed groups, but there are reports of a mutiny among security forces.
Syrian state TV said armed men were in control of the town and had prepared defences.
The Turkish government says more than 2,000 Syrians have crossed the border seeking refuge from the anticipated crackdown in Jisr al-Shughour.