News / Middle East

Syrian Troops Storm Rebellious Village; Violence Spills Into Lebanon

A Sunni gunman fires his weapon during clashes on Syria Street which divided the areas between Sunnis and Alawites, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, May 13, 2012. A Sunni gunman fires his weapon during clashes on Syria Street which divided the areas between Sunnis and Alawites, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, May 13, 2012.
x
A Sunni gunman fires his weapon during clashes on Syria Street which divided the areas between Sunnis and Alawites, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, May 13, 2012.
A Sunni gunman fires his weapon during clashes on Syria Street which divided the areas between Sunnis and Alawites, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, May 13, 2012.
VOA News
Syrian troops backed by tanks killed at least five civilians, torched homes and looted shops when they overran a rebellious Sunni Muslim farming village Sunday, as tensions from the 14-month-old uprising also spilled into neighboring Lebanon.
 
Sunday's raid against the impoverished village of al-Tamana, 55 kilometers northwest of Hama, cast further doubt on the viability of U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's plan to end the bloody conflict peacefully.
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said al-Tamana was "subjected to collective punishment" with "over half of its houses burned, several people executed [upon arrest] and the rest killed from bombardment."
 
The watchdog group said at least 25 people, 18 civilians, five soldiers and two anti-government rebels, were killed Sunday as violence ripped through various Syrian flashpoint areas. 
 
Opposition activists said al-Tamana had seen regular anti-government protests. The village was one of dozens of Sunni settlements torched since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces seized control of the cities of Homs and Hama. 
 
Residents of the nearby Alawite village of al-Aziziyeh, a recruiting ground for the loyalist Shabbiha militia, took part in a separate assault on al-Tamana Friday.
 
Syria's Sunni majority is at the forefront of the uprising against Mr. Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
 
In a sign the sectarian tension threatens to spill over into Lebanon, three people were killed early Sunday when gunbattles broke out in an Alawite enclave and surrounding Sunni neighborhoods of the northern port city of Tripoli.
 
Lebanon is sharply split along sectarian lines, with 18 religious sects. But it also has a fragile political fault line precisely over the issue of Syria. 
 
An array of pro-Syrian parties support Mr. Assad's government, as do many Lebanese citizens. Others oppose the Syrian leader and accuse Damascus of heavy-handed meddling in Lebanese affairs.
 
Violence by Mr. Assad's forces and his increasingly armed foes has continued despite an April 12 cease-fire declared by Mr. Annan and the presence of a U.N. monitoring mission now with about 150 observers on the ground.
 
In another development Sunday, two Turkish journalists who had been detained in Syria for two months arrived in Istanbul on a plane from Iran, after Tehran helped negotiate their release. 
 
Reporters Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun were abducted by pro-government militiamen and handed over to Syrian intelligence, which held them separately in a Damascus prison.  The two men said they feared they would die after spending 55 days isolated in cramped concrete cells. 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid