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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid