Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a firm message to the regime in Damascus on Wednesday afternoon, urging the increasingly isolated yet defiant President Bashar Assad to order the removal of tanks from the streets, and giving Assad 10 to 15 days to change his ways.
But many Syrians didn't hold their breath. Rather than heed the call of its larger neighbor to north, Assad had sent tanks into the towns of Dimnish, Taftanaz and Sermin, only miles away from the Syrian border with Turkey, activists told Babylon & Beyond.
According to the activists, 10,000 soldiers with 32 tanks entered the border area, broke into homes, looted personal belongings and arrested 25 youths.
"They would break into the house and if they didn't find the fathers or the brothers, they would take the children instead," said Oday Al Sayyed, a member of the Local Coordination Committee in Dimnish.
"I think expanding their offensive along the border is a clear response -- even more a challenge -- to Turkey," Al Sayyed said.