KUWAIT CITY, March 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The Syrian army on Sunday cracked down on opposition forces in Idlib close to the border with Turkey. The independent Syrian Al-Watan newspaper said the troops were ordered to urgently restore order in the northwest of the country where highways run from the seaside to the economic center of Aleppo.
The army combed the quarters seized by militants in Idlib, the administrative center of the province 300 kilometers from Damascus. Fierce resistance was reported in some areas.
A Syrian army source denied reports the opposition Free Syrian Army had down two helicopters and destroyed five tanks on Saturday. The source said government troops sustained minimal losses.
The official SANA news agency said armed militants killed an army colonel in Damascus suburb.
Reports from Syria said 34 people were killed on Sunday, including 15 civilians, 14 government soldiers, and five opposition militants.