June 18, 2011

Syrian troops backed by tanks and firing heavy machine guns swept into a village near the Turkish border Saturday, the latest in a series of intensified army operations in the northwest where there have been heavy clashes between loyalist troops and defectors.

The Local Coordination Committees, a group that documents anti-government protests, said troops backed by six tanks and several armored personnel carriers, entered Bdama in the morning. The village is about 12 miles from the Turkish border.

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The British Foreign office urged Britons in Syria to leave the country “immediately.” In a statement posted on the website of the British Embassy in Syria, the Foreign Office said Britons should leave “now by commercial means while these are still operating.”

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