This marked the first time that the Assad regime has accused Turkey of
helping the revolt. The Ankara government has become increasingly critical
of Assad and said the president has one week to end his crackdown against
Officials said the rebels drove the Syrian Army from Jisr Al
Shoughour and then took over the town. They said government buildings were
looted and torched before another Assad force arrived.
At one point, the Assad regime conducted a tour for journalists of Jisr
Al Shoughour. Officials showed journalists a mass grave that was said to
contain the bodies of soldiers.
A Syrian officer who conducted the tour said the rebels in Jisr Al
Shoughour consisted of Al Qaida-aligned fighters. He said the rebels
employed a range of Turkish weapons and ammunition but did not accuse the
Ankara government of supplying the equipment.
Western diplomatic sources said rebel fighters have been attacking
Assad's military in both northern and southern Syria. They said the rebels
were being supplied by Sunnis from neighboring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
"With every passing day, the Sunnis in the Syrian military are growing
more uneasy," a diplomat said. "The Sunni senior commanders are still
loyal, but the field commanders, particularly on the level of squad and
companies, are feeling the pressure to defect."
Opposition sources have reported a breakdown in law and order throughout
Syria. The Kurdish opposition Democratic Union Party has reported a
rebellion in Hasaka prison, which resulted in a fire in the facility.
"The prison may be under the control of the prisoners, but the building
is surrounded by security forces," the party said.