More brutality in Syria as refugee camps swell

Throughout Syria today, protesters once again took to the streets to demand that President Bashar al-Assad leave. That's remarkable considering that in recent weeks, Assad's forces have reportedly killed 1,400 civilians and arrested 10,000. CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports tonight, from just over the Syrian border in Turkey.

If the Assad regime thought last week's brutal killing of protestors would somehow kill the protests -- Friday came the people's defiant answer. Anti-Assad demonstrations happened nationwide in most of the cities and towns. More than 10,000 marched in the symbolic city of Hama -- with every protester facing down the risk the Army could shoot at any time.

In the coastal city of Homs, the Army did shoot -- and hospitals filled once again with the injured. Unofficial estimates said at least 19 were killed -- while the regimes brutality stayed very much alive.

To learn the extent of that brutality, CBS News asked Syrian refugees, now sheltered in camps in Turkey, to tell us their stories by cell phone video. They asked not to be identified because they fear reprisals ...including one woman who said soldiers terrorized her village last week by raping the women.

"We saw the horrible and shameless things the army did,'' she told CBS News. "So I ran away to protect my honor. The soldiers burned our home and killed our livestock."

Said another woman: "We don't want Assad anymore, he's spilled blood everywhere."

There are 10,000 refugees now in camps inside Turkey -- but 10,000 more live outdoors in the forests and olive groves on the Syrian side of the border.

When we tried to approach the refugees in the groves -- we were detained by Turkish soldiers

We were released after 7 hours. But it's a sign of how tense this border has become. The Turks are under pressure to care for these Syrians and they do not want pictures made of refugees in trees.

  • Wyatt Andrews

    Wyatt Andrews is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Washington D.C. He is responsible for tracking trends in politics, health care, energy, the environment and foreign affairs.