Accessibility links

Syrian Troops Crack Down in Flashpoint City

Activists say Syrian troops cracked down against government opponents in the tense flashpoint city of Homs again on Monday after at least 31 people were killed in clashes across the country on Sunday.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 of those killed Sunday were civilians, including seven people shot dead by government security forces in the Homs region.

The group said security force members died in clashes between deserting soldiers and government troops.

Residents in Homs on Monday reported seeing armored military carriers carrying troops in the city.

The United Nations human rights office says more than 2,900 people have died in Syria's anti-government unrest, which is now in its seventh month.

Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Moallem has threatened "tough measures" against any country that recognizes a newly formed opposition council.

But on Monday, the European Union on Monday welcomed the creation of the opposition council, saying it is "positive step forward."

Moallem on Sunday warned the international community not to officially recognize the Syrian National Council, calling the group "illegitimate." He spoke alongside a group of left-leaning Latin American ministers visiting Damascus to show support for embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

In Turkey Sunday, protesters held a small demonstration in Ankara against the death of Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo, who was killed Friday by unidentified gunmen at his home in Syria.

Tammo was a member of the new Syrian opposition council. His funeral in the town of Qamishli Saturday turned into a mass rally against the Syrian government. Syrian troops killed five people when they fired into the crowd.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.