News / Middle East

Turkey Tells Syria to Stop Civilian Bloodshed

Latakia after shelling by tanks and navy ships Sunday, August 14, 2011
Latakia after shelling by tanks and navy ships Sunday, August 14, 2011

Turkey has warned neighboring Syria that its military operations against civilians "must end immediately and unconditionally."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said this "is our final word to the Syrian authorities." He spoke to reporters in Ankara as the Syrian military was reported to be shelling residential areas in the port city of Latakia.

It was the third day of an assault against anti-government dissent there.

Syrian rights activists say the security forces have killed nearly 30 people in the coastal city since Saturday, including two on Monday. Witnesses in Latakia say people are trying to flee, but that several have been shot at checkpoints.

In Houla, a town near the city of Homs, activists say Syrian troops backed by tanks are carrying out raids and arrests.

Latakia and Homs are among the Syrian cities that have seen large protests demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish foreign minister visited President Assad in Damascus last week to urge an end to his brutal crackdown against the anti-government uprising. Mr. Davutoglu said Monday that unless the bloodshed ends immediately, there will nothing left to discuss with Syrian authorities.

A U.N. agency says the shelling of Latakia has forced about 5,000 Palestinians to flee a refugee camp in the southern part of the city. The U.N. is expressing concern about the situation.

Activists and witnesses say Syrian gunboats joined tanks in firing on Latakia Sunday, a new element in the government's crackdown that has been escalating since mid-March.

Syrian officials have given a different account of events in Latakia. They deny the city was shelled from the sea, and say that naval vessels were on routine duty to protect the coast and prevent arms smuggling.

On Sunday, Syria's state-run news agency said law enforcement personnel were pursuing gunmen who it said were terrorizing residents of Latakia.

Details of events in Syria are difficult to verify independently because the government allows very few foreign news reporters into the country and restricts their movements.

Rights groups and activists say at least 1,700 people have been killed since the start of the government's crackdown.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid