Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hundreds of people including the members of the security forces have been killed in the turmoil.

On December 18, seven Syrian soldiers were killed in clashes with armed gangs in the central province of Homs, the northwestern province of Idlib and rural areas near the capital, Damascus.

Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, saying it is being orchestrated from abroad.

On Tuesday, Syrian security forces clashed with an armed group that sought to enter Syria through the northwestern city of Jisr al-Shughour near the border with Turkey.

Syrians have repeatedly expressed solidarity with the government. According to informed sources in Syria, millions of people have demonstrated across the country in support of President Assad over the past weeks.