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News Link • WAR: About that War

Syrian forces kill 25 in Deraa


Syrian forces reportedly shot and killed at least 25 anti-regime protestors in Deraa on a day when Syria closed all its land border crossings with neighboring Jordan, following the deployment of Syrian army tanks in the southern border city of Deraa to crush a pro-democracy uprising.

Witnesses are reporting a massive assault by Syrian forces against Deraa’s civilian population.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s information minister, Taher Adwan, confirmed the report of border closings, but a Syrian channel quoted the Syrian customs director as saying the report was “baseless.”

“Syria closed its land borders with Jordan. The Syrian decision is related to the internal situation in Syria,” Mr. Adwan told the state-run Petra news agency, according to Reuters.

A senior diplomat in the Jordanian capital earlier confirmed that the two main Syrian crossings at Deraa and Nassib on the Syrian side were closed to traffic. An official told Reuters the “timing is related to what appears to be a major security operation that is taking place right now.”

The residents of Deraa have ties with tribes living just few kilometers inside the Jordanian territories. There were reports that witnesses talking to international media were using Jordanian cell phones.

Witnesses and human rights activists told Al Arabiya that the battle was becoming fiercer in Deraa.

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