Syrian security forces killed in recent days at least 33 people in the town of Rankous, about 30 miles from the Syrian capital of Damascus, reports said Sunday. Opposition sources, cited by Reuters, claimed that government forces launched a massive raid against insurgents and army deserters in the 25,000 inhabitant town.
They pointed out that the operation is carried by several thousand soldiers from the 4th Division under the command of the brother of President Bashar Al Assad, Maher.
Opposition groups also claimed that five civilians were killed by Syrian forces in Damascus in an attack to regain control of suburbs which came under the control of insurgents.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government has voiced its regret about the suspension of the Arab Observer Mission. Syria conveyed it was "surprised" by the decision, the state news agency Sana quoted Saturday night an unnamed government official.