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Syrian troops recapture opposition stronghold

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Syria, government forces have retaken one of the strongholds of the opposition Free Syrian Army north of the country.

The Free Syrian Army has resumed attacks on government troops following a series of civilian massacres blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

UN ceasefire monitors in the country have acknowledged that the Syrian crisis could be called a civil war.

State television on Wednesday said that government troops had cleansed the northern town of Haffa from terrorists and restored calm. It claimed that huge amounts of weapons had been seized.

The town has been under siege for several days, with government troops launching intensive attacks, reportedly resulting in many civilian casualties.

A Haffa resident told NHK by phone that the troops are looting and torching houses.

Meanwhile, air raids have continued on opposition strongholds in central and eastern Syria, with tanks firing on the ground.

With no end to the violence in sight, the death toll continues to rise.

A human rights group in Syria says more than 100 civilians were killed between Tuesday and Wednesday alone.

Jun. 13, 2012 – Updated 19:55 UTC (04:55 JST)