News / Middle East

Report: Syrian Operation May Be Crime Against Humanity

An image taken from footage uploaded on YouTube shows hundreds of thousands of Syrian anti-government protesters flooding the streets of the central city of Hama on July 1, 2011
An image taken from footage uploaded on YouTube shows hundreds of thousands of Syrian anti-government protesters flooding the streets of the central city of Hama on July 1, 2011

Amnesty International says Syrian security forces may have committed crimes against humanity during a deadly operation last month in a town near the Lebanese border.

Citing witness accounts, the London-based rights group accused Syria of rounding up scores of male residents in Talkalakh and torturing most of them, with at least nine people dying in custody.

In a report issued Wednesday, Amnesty said the assault appears to be part of a "widespread, systematic attack against the civilian population," which would constitute crimes against humanity.

The group urged the U.N. Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

On Tuesday, Syrian government forces opened fire on civilians in the central city of Hama, killing at least 11 people. Activists said the shootings took place after troops moved tanks around the city's outskirts in apparent preparation for an assault.

In response, residents set up dozens of roadblocks and set debris on fire to prevent the advance of tanks currently ringing the town. Hama residents burned tires and trash bins and set up sand barriers and other obstacles to block the expected assault.

Security forces also mounted a second attack Tuesday in northwest Idlib province.

The U.S. and Britain urged Syria to immediately pull its forces from Hama and other cities.

Reuters quoted a French Foreign Ministry spokesman Tuesday as calling on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a firm stance against what he called Syria's "unacceptable, ferocious armed repression."

Hama is one of the centers of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year autocratic rule, and was the site of an anti-Assad rally on Friday that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters.

On Monday, soldiers sealed off the city and raided homes there, one month after government forces withdrew. At least 20 people were arrested as part of Syria's ongoing crackdown on dissent.

Unlike its European partners and the U.S., France says Mr. Assad has lost his legitimacy to rule. But a French campaign for U.N. condemnation of the crackdown has met stiff Russian and Chinese resistance.

But Foreign Minister Alain Juppe - who held talks in Moscow last week - said Tuesday there are signs Russia is beginning to question its Syria policy. Juppe said he attempted to sway his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, but that Russia is still threatening to veto any U.N. resolution against Syria.

Rights groups say Syrian security forces have killed at least 1,300 civilians since mid-March while trying to suppress the anti-government uprising. The Syrian government says terrorists and Islamist militants have killed hundreds of security personnel during the same period.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid