Syrian soldiers advanced in the central city of Hama on Tuesday, taking up new positions in a residential area a day after security forces killed 24 people throughout the country, activists said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that Monday's death toll included 10 people in Hama, six in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen and three in the central province of Homs. Two were killed in the eastern town of al-Boukamal, two the coastal city of Latakia and one in Maadamiyah near Damascus, the group said.
Hama-based activist Omar Hamawi told The Associated Press that soldiers advanced some 700 yards from the western entrance of the city overnight, taking up positions near homes and buildings in an area known as Kazo Square. The activist also said that parts of Hama were hit Tuesday morning with heavy machine gun fire after sporadic shelling overnight.
Meanwhile, the top U.S. military officer said Washington wants to pressure the Syrian regime politically and diplomatically.