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.

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He was withdrawn this week after the U.S. said "credible threats" against his personal safety were made against him.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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
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.

AppleAndroid