Syrian troops raid restive areas, opposition says
Syrian government forces cracked down Wednesday on restive areas on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, hunting for rebels, opposition activists said dpa reported
Military troops backed by tanks stormed areas in the suburb of Reef Damascus in the early hours and conducted house-to-house searches for fugitive army defectors, Syrian activist Ayman Idlibi told dpa by phone.
In the central province of Homs meanwhile, government forces heavily shelled the dissident neighbourhood of Baba Amr, and a nearby gas pipeline was hit by a tank shell, the activist added.
Two people were killed and five were wounded in Baba Amr, according to Idlibi.
Syrian state television reported that the authorities had foiled an attempt by an "armed terrorist group" to infiltrate the border in the al-Janoudieh area of Idlib province, near the border with Turkey.
One alleged attacker was killed and another arrested, while the other suspects fled, according to the report.
The broadcaster quoted an unnamed source at the Interior Ministry as saying that the authorities were determined to re-establish "stability in the country" at all costs.
It also showed footage of President Bashar al-Assad visiting soldiers injured in clashes with defectors on the outskirts of Damascus.
On Tuesday, the Arab League and Western powers told the United Nations Security Council they were not seeking military action in Syria in an effort to bring its key allies, Russia and China, on board for a solution to end the 11-month crackdown on opposition.