In the latest attempt to quell the uprising, Syrian tanks bombarded a border town overnight, according to residents, on Sunday.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon spoke to reporters in Colombia on Saturday about his growing concern over the spiraling unrest in Syria.
Activists said that 36 protesters were killed on Friday, and helicopter gunships were deployed by Syrian authorities in Maarat Al Numaan, where state TV claimed “terrorist groups” had burnt buildings.
Elsewhere in Jisr Al Shughour, crops were burnt and 120 troops were killed during the week. The town is strategically located on hills between Syria’s second biggest city, Aleppo, and the main port town of Latakia.
Syrian TV also claimed that “militants” were responsible for burning land and killing livestock.
According to one witness, the border area has turned into a buffer zone. Tens of thousands have sought shelter among trees nearby. In Hatay, south of Turkey, tents have been set up to accommodate the refugees.
A Turkish diplomat estimates 4,300 refugees have fled to Turkey so far.
Ban Ki Moon - UN Secretary General
Metin Corabatir - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson