Syrian army forces patrol the streets in the northern city of Jisr al-Shughour
Source: Press TV
Syrian military forces have entered a northern town near the Turkish border after taking over a neighboring city following heavy clashes with armed men.
Syrian troops, backed by tanks and heavy machineguns, rolled into the town of Bdama on Saturday, media reports quoted witnesses as saying.
The Syrian army has stepped up efforts to restore security to the country's north, where raging violence has forced thousands of people to flee the region.
Earlier, the army took control of Jisr al-Shughour city after heavy clashes with armed groups.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people staged a rally in support of the Syrian government in the city, chanting slogans hailing President Bashar al-Assad.
The demonstrators called for national unity and demanded an end to foreign interference in the country's internal affairs.
They also gathered in the city's main square and thanked the army for restoring security and tranquility in their city.
The demonstrators further denounced acts of violence in Syria, which has been the scene of unrelenting unrest in recent months.
The opposition blames the government for the violence, which has also taken the lives of hundreds, including many security forces.
Damascus has strongly rejected the allegation and blames armed gangs and foreign infiltrators for the deadly unrest.