June 15 - Syrian villagers erect temporary roadblocks to protect those fleeing from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Simon Hanna reports.
Armed with firearms and sickles, these Syrians have taken it upon themselves to protect their village. The men have set up a security barrier on the outskirts of Harabjoz in the north of the country. The purpose of the road block is to provide defence but also to help Syrians fleeing from gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. This driver is coming from the rebellious town of Jisr al-Shugour, he tells the men that there he has seen soldiers and tanks. Scores of Syrians are fleeing to evade a bloody crackdown on anti-government unrest that has swept the country. One of the checkpoint guards says they need help in the face of President Bashar al Assad's forces. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED SYRIAN GUARD: "We need immediate intervention, because this man is committing huge massacres amongst the Syrian people. He's killing children, he's starving us, there is no bread, there is no milk, there is nothing, there is no food of medicine, there is nothing at all." The government has said security has been restored in the Jisr al-Shugour area following fighting earlier this month, and have urged the thousands that have fled to return. But with civilians like these arming themselves just to defend their villages, it would appear the security situation is far from resolved. Simon Hanna, Reuters.