15 Jun 2011

Northern push by govt forces in Syria

5:40 am on 15 June 2011

Syrian troops and tanks are reported to be pushing on towards more towns in the north-west, having taken the town of Jisr al-Shughour.

Witnesses say troops are following a scorched earth policy, destroying homes and crops.

The BBC reports the campaign has prompted thousands of people to flee across the border to Turkey.

The government said its forces were pursuing rebels through the countryside around Jisr al-Shughour, after consolidating control over the town.

Tanks were also reported to be entering the town of Maarat al-Numan, to the south-east, where the state media had reported attacks on government buildings and security headquarters in recent days.