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Syria Urges Refugees To Return Amid Reports Of Continuing Crackdown

A mobile-phone photo purporting to be of Syrian army tanks in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour, provided by Shaam News Network.
The Syrian government is calling for the return of thousands of people who fled to Turkey to escape violence as a military crackdown in the north of the country continues.

Turkish officials say more than 8,500 have fled across the border into Turkey to escape the crackdown authorities said was aimed to destroy "armed terrorist gangs."

Tanks have been deployed in the town of Jisr al-Shughour near the Turkish border and witnesses said soldiers were carrying out search-and-arrest operations in surrounding areas, looting and burning down homes.

Jisr al-Shughour was a center of the protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime that began three months ago.

compiled from agency reports