News / Middle East

Syrian Leader Meets With Arab Officials Trying to Halt Violence

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (center R) meets with Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani (center L) and the Arab League ministerial team (L) in Damascus, October 26,2011.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (center R) meets with Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani (center L) and the Arab League ministerial team (L) in Damascus, October 26,2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

At least 26 people were killed Wednesday in military operations across Syria, as President Bashar al-Assad met with an Arab League delegation seeking to end months of bloody unrest.

Syrian state media quoted the head of the delegation, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, as saying the talks were "cordial and frank." He said Arab officials will meet again with Mr. Assad October 30.

The 22-nation Arab League is trying to facilitate a dialogue between Syria's government and the opposition's newly formed Syrian National Council. But activists say talks are "impossible" to consider, given the current security crackdown.

A banner carried by protesters in northern Syria Tuesday read "Russia gives Bashar international protection, Iran gives him weapons, and Arabs give him time. No dialogue with the killer of children."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 15 civilians died Wednesday in shootings by security forces nationwide, including 12 in the rebellious city of Homs. Eleven soldiers also were killed in the central Hama region, a hotbed of opposition to President Assad.

In Washington, the State Department said it hopes U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford can return to Damascus by the end of November.

He was withdrawn this week after the U.S. said "credible threats" against his personal safety were made against him. Ford often defied Syrian demands that he refrain from visiting areas where protests are strong.

In Damascus Wednesday, tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Mr. Assad, waving flags and chanting for him to remain Syria's president.

Opposition activists called for a nationwide strike that was observed in parts of Syria.

Mr. Assad has been facing growing international condemnation for his crackdown on dissent. The United Nations says the death toll from seven months of anti-government protests has topped 3,000.

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

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