Free Syrian Army 'armed only with hunting rifles'
21 December 2011 Last updated at 17:57 GMT
Activists in Syria say 250 people have died in the past two days alone at the hands of President Bashar Al-Assad's security forces.
The focus of the security operation is thought to be on the north west town of Idlib.
Though the area is dangerous for independent eyewitnesses, the journalist Javier Espinosa was smuggled to Idlib for six days to report on the Free Syrian Army.
He told BBC World TV that they had only small arms and rifles to fight with.