News / Middle East

15 Civilians Killed in Syrian Crackdown on Central Towns

A file photo taken from footage by Sham SNN, a Syrian opposition web channel, shows Syrian army vehicles deployed in the central industrial city of Homs
A file photo taken from footage by Sham SNN, a Syrian opposition web channel, shows Syrian army vehicles deployed in the central industrial city of Homs

Syrian rights activists say a military crackdown on opposition protesters in the central part of the country has killed at least 15 civilians since Sunday and injured dozens more.

The demonstrators were killed as government forces backed by tanks, artillery and helicopters continued to attack the cities of Talbiseh, Rastan and other central communities where residents have staged anti-government protests in recent days.

Rights groups said three civilians were killed Monday in Talbiseh. Residents also found the bodies of two people thought to have been killed by Syrian troops in Homs, Syria's third-largest city.

In a new development, the Associated Press reported that residents of Talbiseh and Rastan used automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades to repel advancing troops. One activist was quoted as saying the armed resistance was not organized but rather involved individual residents protecting themselves.

Witness reports in Syria, as well as official accounts, are difficult to independently verify because the government barred most international journalists from the country soon after the unrest began in March.

Also Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the repression of opposition movements in Syria and Libya is "shocking" for its "brutality and magnitude." Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been trying to suppress an opposition revolt against his 42-year rule since February.

Pillay renewed her call for Syria to allow a fact-finding mission to visit the country. She was speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Earlier, Syrian state media said "terrorists" operating in Talbiseh killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded 14 on Sunday. Syria's government frequently blames the two-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad on terrorists, Islamists and foreign agitators. It says at least 140 Syrian security personnel have been killed in the unrest.

Syrian opposition activists have been protesting almost daily since March for democratic reforms and an end to Mr. Assad's 11-year autocratic rule. Rights groups say Mr. Assad's security forces have killed more than 1,000 people and arrested 10,000 more in a campaign to crush the uprising.

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

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

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid