Syrian Army tightens grip near Turkish border

Syrian troops are tightening their grip on villages near the Turkish border.

Boynuyogun Refugee Camp: Syrian
troops are tightening their grip on villages near the Turkish
border, setting up checkpoints and arresting dozens in an
attempt to staunch the flow of residents fleeing into Turkey,
activists said on Sunday.

Human rights activist Mustafa Osso said there were
concerns that thousands of displaced people crowded near the
border would come under attack in the coming days.

The fighting in the Jisr al-Shughour area in the
northern Idlib province started nearly two weeks ago, and has
displaced thousands of people, including some 10,100 who are
sheltered in three Turkish refugee camps.

An estimated 5,000 more people are camped out on the
Syrian side of the border with dwindling resources as the army
tightens its grip on the area, hoping to remain in Syria and
avoid refugee status.

Osso said military operations were under way Sunday in
the villages of Bdama and Rihan near the border.

Both villages had provided a gateway for refugees as
well as medicine and foodstuffs for them.

"Security forces have arrested around 100 people from
those villages in the past few days. They are trying to close
off border areas with checkpoints to keep people from
leaving," Osso said.

He added that troops were surrounding the village of
al-Hamboushieh, only a few kilometers from the border

"We are concerned that the thousands gathered near the
border will eventually come under attack," Osso said.

Another activist near the Turkish border said security
forces today torched a bakery in the village of Bdama, about
12 miles from the Turkish border, that had been the sole
source of bread for the displaced.


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