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He was withdrawn this week after the U.S. said "credible threats" against his personal safety were made against him.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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid