News / Middle East

Syria Rejects Arab League Call for End to 'Bloodshed'

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby attends the body's meeting at its headquarters in Cairo, August 27, 2011
Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby attends the body's meeting at its headquarters in Cairo, August 27, 2011

Syria has rejected an Arab League statement calling for an end to deadly violence that has shaken the country, as the government cracks down on a five-month-old pro-democracy uprising.

In a statement issued early Sunday after an emergency meeting in Cairo, the Arab bloc called for a stop to "bloodshed" in Syria "before it is too late." It also said Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby is ready to visit Syria to try to resolve the crisis, but did not say when the trip would happen.

Syria responded with a protest note accusing the Arab League of violating diplomatic protocol and saying Damascus regards the statement as "non-existent."

The United Nations has said more than 2,200 people have been killed since March, when protesters began calling for reforms and an end to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

Syrian rights activists say security forces killed at least four people late Saturday into Sunday, in the latest crackdown on opposition activity. They say two people were killed in the northern province of Idlib, one in the southern province of Dara'a and one in the Damascus suburb of Harasta.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Sunday that Ankara has lost confidence in Syria, its neighbor to the south. Turkish state news agency Anatolia quoted Gul as saying the situation has reached a stage in which any gestures by the Syrian government will be "too little, too late."

Syrian state news agency SANA says Assad authorized a new media law Sunday, requiring the government to lift most restrictions on local journalists and allow independent news organizations to operate.

The Syrian government has barred most foreign journalists from working in the country, making it difficult to verify reports of the unrest. Syrian opposition activists have dismissed Assad's previous promises of reforms as meaningless while the government crackdown continues.

Syrian border authorities also stopped three opposition activists from crossing into neighboring Lebanon Sunday to participate in a televised discussion on the Syrian uprising. The activists criticized the government for blocking their trip. The three were Michel Kilo, Loay Hussein and Fayez Sara.

In another development, Syrian rights activists say security forces attacked protesters who gathered at a mosque in the Damascus suburb of Kfar Sousa on Saturday, wounding several people including the imam.

Syria's interior ministry issued a warning Sunday to Damascus residents not to respond to calls on social media for more demonstrations in the capital.

The Syrian government denies reports of protests in the capital and blames the country's recent violence on what it calls armed gangs and terrorists backed by foreign conspirators.

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