Syrian troops have staged a major assault on the northern Syrian city of Hama. Tanks, armored vehicles and snipers took control of the city’s central square. Witnesses report near-constant gunfire and many causalities on the square. Syrian authorities cut telephone lines, electricity and water supplies in advance of the assault on Wednesday morning. Thousands of Syrians have reportedly been killed since the pro-democracy uprising began in March. The U.N. Security Council has condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown but is divided on whether the Council should issue a formal resolution.