Syrian Refugees Continue Fleeing to Turkey
Syrian refugees continue pouring across the border to Turkey, after renewed attacks by the Syrian Military in Jisr al-Shughour over the weekend. The Syrian government is claiming that the attacks on this town are in response to the killing of security forces there.
Syrian press organization Syrian Arab News Association (SANA) is reporting that Syrian forces discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of security forces and police. In addition, they are claiming that the bodies had been mutilated, presumably by rebels that had been hiding in the town. Syrian TV also carried a broadcast of a confession from Anwar Nafee al-Dosh, who is being called a rebel leader by the Syrian Government. Al-Dosh stated that he was responsible for the deaths and mutilations of the security forces and police, and had engaged in raping and killing women in the region.
While the Syrian authorities and press have been characterizing these actions as saving the residents of the region from rebels, the refugees at the border of Turkey are offering a different story. Hürriyet Daily News reports that nearly 6,000 Syrians are waiting to cross the border, and that wounded are being treated at the state hospital in Antakya. A video of refugees in a tent across the border in Syria shows two elderly women, and one states "Syrian soldiers killed all the young men in the village, they burned our houses, God punish them, God punish Assad."
Many of the refugees are reportedly living in tents in Syria, near the Turkish border, and are only attempting to cross when they absolutely must to avoid clashes with Syrian military and police. Presumably these are the "armed rebels" that the Syrians are claiming that they are hunting down in the countryside outside of the towns in the region. While Syrian media claims there were two casualties in Sunday's attack in Jisr al-Shughour and that soldiers were welcomed with open arms after liberating the town from control by armed gangs, residents report that their homes and crops were destroyed by the military.