News / Middle East

Syria Continues Crackdown Against Protesters

Syria Continues Crackdown Against Protesters
Syria Continues Crackdown Against Protesters
TEXT SIZE - +

Syrian security forces continued a crackdown across the country, amid reports that at least three people were killed in violence Saturday. Opposition sources say that scores of people were arrested in security operations in many towns and cities.

In the Damascus suburb of Douma, mourners chanted slogans against the regime Saturday to condemn the killing of a young protester Friday. Opposition websites showed hundreds of mourners in at least four cities who turned out to protest the killings of nearly a dozen demonstrators Friday.

Al-Arabiya TV showed Syrian warplanes, saying they broke the sound barrier over the city of Homs to frighten demonstrators. Videos also showed security forces conducting searches and making arrests in the Homs suburb of Deir Balbah.

An opposition video on Facebook showed scores of mostly young demonstrators in the Diraa suburb of Soura Saturday, protesting the arrests of 40 people by security forces Friday. It is impossible to confirm the event, since Syria is not allowing most foreign journalists into the country.

Several people were killed in violence across Syria Saturday and witnesses say government tanks invaded the town of Telkalakh, near the Lebanese border. Security forces stormed the village in June, forcing scores of residents to flee to Lebanon.

Syrian government TV claimed that what it called “biased” foreign TV networks"  were “inventing videos of demonstrations,” to “destabilize Syria.” Government TV interviewed two people who claimed that the networks were bringing people in from outside their neighborhood to film them protesting.

Several opposition videos, however, showed Syrian government cameramen filming protests in different locations, standing behind security forces. Opposition sources claim they were recording demonstrators in order to identify and arrest protesters.

Another opposition video showed Syrian Army tanks rolling over a row of parked cars in a suburb of Idlib to retaliate against the town's residents. A soldier could also be heard encouraging the tank driver to continue the destruction.

Meanwhile, in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned a European Union decision Friday to stop purchasing crude oil from Syria. Damascus produces up to 350,000 barrels of crude oil per day, most of which are sold to Italy, France and Germany.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, insists that unilateral sanctions like the EU move to stop buying Syrian crude, are the only means of helping the Syrian people in the face of Russian and Chinese objection to a more serious U.N. Security Council Resolution.

He says that due to Russian and Chinese obstinance over adopting a Security Council resolution, only unilateral economic sanctions like those adopted by the EU Friday can pressure the regime, since the move deprives it of hard currency. He adds that the move is a step forward, but is still not enough to help the Syrian people and he warns that the struggle could turn into an armed conflict as it becomes more protracted.

The head of the International Red Cross is due to meet with President Bashar al-Assad late Saturday to discuss the bloody government crackdown.

Al-Jazeera television reported that Syria has yet to respond to last week's Arab League decision to send its secretary general to Damascus to evaluate the situation.

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

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid