News / Middle East

Syria VP Dispels Defection Rumors

Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa, meets in Damascus, Syria with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, not shown, the head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy ending rumors that Al-Sharaa had defected to Jordan, August
Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa, meets in Damascus, Syria with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, not shown, the head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy ending rumors that Al-Sharaa had defected to Jordan, August
VOA News
Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa has appeared in public for the first time in weeks, ending speculation that he had defected from President Bashar al-Assad's embattled government.

The 73-year-old Sunni Muslim met Sunday with a visiting senior Iranian official in Damascus.  Sharaa was last seen in public at a state funeral for security officials who died in a July 18 bomb blast.

The Assad government has seen a number of high-level defections in recent months, and up until Sunday, there had been rumors that Sharaa had defected to Jordan, despite the government's denials.

Meanwhile, a Syrian watchdog group says hundreds of people were killed across the country Saturday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the final death toll for the day was 370, with nearly 200 bodies found in Daraya, near the capital.

The number of corpses in Daraya and when they died could not be independently confirmed. However, video footage reported to be from Daraya showed a large group of victims. Syrian forces had focused a five-day onslaught on rebel fighters in the town to regain control of the outskirts of Damascus.

Activists say Syrian forces with tanks and combat helicopters also launched new raids in other cities.

On Saturday, SANA said armed forces killed an unspecified number of "terrorists" in Aleppo and destroyed seven vehicles equipped with machine guns.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: dyke davis from: USA, San Francisco
August 25, 2012 1:19 PM
It is laughable that the western political and corporate media class cares little or nothing about the widening violence spealing over into Lebanon nor the tragic cost of human life inside Syria where they are pouring weapons, logistics and foreign-terrorist into the attempt to subdue the government of President Assad.
It is true mind-bending to think that human life is treated so cheaply by those whom called themselves civilized and modern.
Attacking this government, while they continue to escape international criminal prosecution for now, a decade of illegal unilateral invasions, mass-deaths, electronic drone assassinations, and a shopping list of other international crimes in the planning.
I, can not fathtom how the human mind can be so horribly twisted to the point that some in our US political and media elites can go to sleep at night knowing that people are being slaughtered by the thousands solely to further some worthless politician's nightmare scenario on how the world should work!
Nothing good will result in these acts of humanity and I hope I'm not anywhere near the moment of retribution that will surely come to those who are responsible for these crimes in Syria.

In Response

by: Ayodotty from: Phoenix
August 26, 2012 3:18 PM
Obviously sad, I just can't believe this is happening today, humans are being slaughter in numbers everyday just like that!

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 26, 2012 3:45 AM
And they call us terrorists!

In Response

by: kt from: Ledyard
August 25, 2012 11:49 PM
I completely agree.

As more lives are lost, the world continues to dig its own grave as the lava of war spills in...

In Response

by: traffikator from: USA
August 25, 2012 10:40 PM
And how did you determine that what is happening in Syria is caused by the western nations in particular USA? The USA has been guilty of a lot of atrocities, I must agree, unfortunately, but Syria? It is one of the last places the USA would like top see destabilized. Can you imagine what would happen if some AL qaeda linked revolutionist got a hold of Syria with all its WMD's? The USA hates that Assad is killing the civilians, but what would like to see the USA do now? Would you like us to put boots on the ground or what? And if we did, who would we support? Be clear and specific in your response and also state what possible outcomes you would hope to achieve and what realisticalyyou think would happen?


by: Michael from: USA
August 25, 2012 10:00 AM
As history in the making the United Nation observers leave Syria, but remain united in the wish for peace, as Ismaili one God, and Christian one Son, in an open channel for present and future cooperation

In Response

by: Mike from: UK
August 26, 2012 7:32 AM
From Wikipedia: The UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SOHR is run out of a two-bedroom terraced home in Coventry, UK, by Rami Abdulrahman (or Rami Abdul Rahman, or Rami Abdelrahman), a Syrian Sunni Muslim who also runs a clothes shop. An information office opposed to the Assad regime.

"Run out of a two bedroom terraced house"! This is hardly a reputably source worth quoting!

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.


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