News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Continue Shelling Homs as Monitors Near

Syrian government forces shelled parts of the besieged city of Homs for the fifth consecutive day Monday, causing numerous casualties, as a team of Arab League observers headed to the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Syrian government forces pounded the districts of Bab Amr and Bab Sibah in Homs, using tank shells, field artillery and mortars. Videos on opposition websites showed bodies lying in the streets and others being piled onto trucks.

Other opposition videos showed buildings pock-marked by shrapnel, store-fronts blasted open, and rubble in the streets. A young man named Ibn Ayoush explained what happened to him.  

He said he lost his father, his house and his car in the shelling. He asked why the Arab League observer team has not yet made it to Homs to see what is happening and to see how people are being killed. He asked why the world is doing nothing.

Numerous witnesses indicated that electricity was cut and food was running short in many parts of Homs. A video on Facebook showed women in the Bab Amr district pleading that life is becoming desperate.

One woman said her area has been bombed every day for more than a week, killing and wounding many people, and making it difficult to remove bodies from the streets. She said there is no telephone and that life has ground to a halt.

Meanwhile, a team of Arab League observers was heading to Damascus to begin a mission whose stated goal is to protect civilians as Syrian authorities try to suppress a nine-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Team member Talah Atlassi said the Arab League mission will visit five regions of Syria, including Homs, with the consent of the government, and will talk to various parties, including citizens, organizations and government officials, listening to all viewpoints.

Syrian opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun told Al Arabiya TV that the Arab observers “must not put off visiting Homs until Tuesday, giving the government more time to shell the city.” The French foreign ministry also urged the Arab League team to “visit Homs immediately.”

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, said the Syrian government has made crushing the rebellion in Homs a top priority:

"I don't think [the government] can quell the uprising, but I think they are planning to deliver a major blow to it, because Homs is the focus and the base of the uprising," said Khashan. "Once they're done with it, I think they may allow the Arab observers to have a cursory look at the situation there."

Syrian state TV insisted again on Monday that government forces are battling “armed terrorists,” and claimed that two car bombs in a Damascus suburb Friday was the work of those alleged terrorists. Opposition leaders accuse the government of being behind the bombings.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid