Syrian troops kill at least nine as EU calls for more sanctions
At least nine people have been killed by Syrian security forces during Friday protests, according to exiled rights groups. Many others are reported wounded.
The violence is reported to have taken place in Damascus, Kiswah and Homs.
Thousands took to the streets in other cities and towns after weekly Muslim prayers following a call to stage more rallies by Facebook group Syrian Revolution 2011,
The European Union also stepped up pressure on President Basar al-Assad's regime on Friday by imposing sanctions on three of its alleged Iranian military allies.
The three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, along with four Syrians and four businesses, were added to a list of people already hit by an assets freeze and EU travel ban.
Meanwhile, EU leaders holding a summit in Brussels are set to adopt a declaration condemning the “unacceptable and shocking violence the Syrian regime continues to apply to its own citizens”.
On Thursday troops backed by tanks entered the border village of Khirbet al-Joz sending hundreds of people fleeing into Turkey.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the move a “very worrisome development".
“Unless the Syrian forces immediately end their attacks and provocations… we’re going to see an escalation of conflict in the area,” she told reporters in Washington.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday he is in continuing contact with Syria in an attempt to launch reforms and end the violence which has forced nearly 12,000 people to flee into Turkey.
Davutoglu said he spoke to his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem on Thursday to convey Turkey's "concerns and thoughts" about the situation on the border, according to the Anatolia news agency.