GUVECCI, Turkey – Syrian troops pushed to the Turkish border Thursday in their sweep against a 3-month-old pro-democracy movement, sending panicked refugees rushing across the frontier to safe havens in Turkey.

The European Union, meanwhile, announced it was slapping new sanctions on the Syrian regime because of the “gravity of the situation,” in which the Syrian opposition says 1,400 people have been killed in a relentless government crackdown. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Syria to pull its troops back from the border.

Syrian soldiers patrolled in military vehicles and on foot around the border village of Khirbet al-Jouz, according to Associated Press journalists who watched their movements from the Turkish side. The Local Coordinating Committees, which track the Syrian protest movement, said residents reported tanks had entered the village and snipers were spotted on rooftops. Syria has banned foreign journalists and restricted local media, making it nearly impossible to independently confirm the accounts.

More than 11,000 Syrians are housed or seeking shelter in Turkish refugee camps, including 600 who crossed over Thursday, the Turkish Red Crescent said.

The deployment was the closest Syrian troops had come to Turkey since the military operation in the area began two weeks ago as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces tried to extinguish any chance the opposition could gain a territorial base for a wider rebellion. The army’s main thrust came against the town of Jisr al-Shughour, where armed anti-government resistance flared in early June.

The army’s drive to the border could raise tensions with the Ankara government, which has grown impatient as Damascus tries to crush the uprising, in its 100th day Thursday.