Thousands demonstrate for Assad, as Jisr al-Shughur offensive continues
Thousands of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad paraded with a 2.3-kilometre-long national flag in a suburb of Damascus on Wednesday. Rights groups say security forces are sweeping through villages and towns near Jisr al-Shughur, which they captured on Sunday.
A massive crowd turned out in Assad’s support in the Damascus suburb of Mezze, as international pressure on his regime grew.
And state-run TV reported the discovery of a second “mass grave” in Jisr al-Shughur, saying that it contained an unspecified number of bodies of security personnel, killed by “armed terrorist groups”.
An earlier report said that the bodies of 120 police officers had been found in the town. Opposition supporters claim that the victims were unarmed protesters killed after soldiers refused to fire on the town’s people.
Rights groups said the offensive in Idlib province, where Jisr al-Shughur is situated, continued Wednesday.
Refugees continued to arrive in neighbouring Turkey, where two camps were being erected Wednesday.
Over 8,500 Syrians, more than half of them children, are already accommodated in three camps run by the Turkish Red Crescent, local officials say. About 60 were in hospital for treatment of wounds. Turkey now has a key role in the Syrian conflict: