The United States has condemned the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for imposing "barbaric measures" to put down antigovernment protests.
Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, denounced reports of a Syrian military operation in the town of Deraa, a campaign of arbitrary arrests of young men there, as well as the cut-off of electricity and communications.
He said that "these are quite barbaric measures."
Meanwhile activists say that Syrian security forces swept into the coastal city of Banias on May 3.
Reuters quotes protest leader Anas al-Shughri as saying that security forces "Moved into the main market area. The army has sealed the northern entrance and security forces [sealed] the south."
The International Red Cross has appealed for access to the injured and arrested, especially in Deraa.
Last week the authorities sent tanks and soldiers into the southern city of Deraa, where the antigovernment uprising broke out on March 18.
Activists said arrests continued across Syria.
Speaking from Egypt, Ammar Qurabi, head of the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria, said more than 1,000 people have been arrested in the latest wave of detentions.
compiled from agency reports