Syria army kills 15 in shelling near Turkey border
Activists say shelling attacks targeted areas in the northern province of Idlib, where rebels clashed with government troops.
Syrian government forces on Monday killed 15 people in shelling attack on a restive area near the border with Turkey, activists said, one day after President Bashar al-Assad vowed to crush a rebellion against his rule.
Activists said the shelling attacks targeted areas in the northern province of Idlib, where rebels clashed with government troops. Rebels destroyed a tank, killing a number of soldiers, they added.
The violence threatens a faltering ceasefire brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan, who has urged al-Assad to take bold steps to stop the bloodshed that risks sparking a civil war.
Assad said in a speech to parliament on Sunday that he would end the crisis soon, adding that his government was fighting "terrorists."
Western powers stepped up pressure on Russia to ease its support
for Assad and join their efforts to condemn him and remove him from power after 108 people were killed in Houla. The opposition blamed government forces and paramilitaries for the massacre.
Assad called the killings in Houla "an ugly crime" that even "monsters" would not commit.
Russia, Syria's main ally and arms supplier, has shown no outward signs that it is changing its stance on Syria.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday called for an international boycott of firms that sell arms to the Syrian government, singling out Russia's state-owned company Rosoboronexport.
"Rosoboronexport's clients should distance themselves from the company until it stops selling arms to Syria," the rights group said in a statement. "The bottom line is that no one should do new business with any company that may be an accomplice to crimes against humanity.