28 Feb 2012

Syrian troops launch fresh offensive

10:07 am on 28 February 2012

Military forces in Syria have launched a fresh offensive on several towns in the north-western province of Idlib.

Troops have been firing artillery, mortars and anti-aircraft guns into Binnish, which for the past week has been under the control of the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Liberation Army, and other towns.

The BBC reports that the city of Homs remains under fire. Activists say 46 people were killed across Syria, many of them in Homs.

As the violence continues, the European Union has agreed on further sanctions against the Syrian government.

Central bank assets are being frozen and travel bans imposed on another seven of President Bashar al-Assad's close associates.

Cargo flights from Syria into the EU are being banned and restrictions introduced on trading in precious metals.

Oil and arms embargos imposed by the EU on Syria are already in place.

Meanwhile, Syrian state television has announced the results of the referendum on a new constitution, saying there was 89% support for the proposal on a turnout of just over 57%.