Syrian troops clashed with rebels near the border with Turkey yesterday in what appears to be the first serious violation of an internationally brokered ceasefire that went into effect a day earlier, activists said.
Despite the clash, there was still no sign of the widespread shelling, rocket attacks and mortars that were daily occurrences before the ceasefire went into effect at dawn on Thursday.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes took place on the outskirts of the northwestern village of Khirbet el-Joz that borders Turkey. The group, which has a network of activists throughout Syria, said the army deployed tanks in the area before the clash.
Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, also said that tanks were deployed near Khirbet el-Joz and were trying to storm a post run by the defectors who are known as the Free Syrian Army. The activist group reported “very heavy gunfire.”
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said gunfire could be heard from the village of Uluyol in Hatay province, which is across the border from Khirbet el-Joz.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had halted heavy shelling and other major attacks in line with the truce.