News / Middle East

    Death Toll from Violence in Northwest Syria Rises to 35

    An image grab taken from YouTube shows Syrian anti-regime protesters marching during a rally in the northeastern city of Kafr Nabl, June 3, 2011
    An image grab taken from YouTube shows Syrian anti-regime protesters marching during a rally in the northeastern city of Kafr Nabl, June 3, 2011

    Syrian rights groups say the death toll in a two-day government crackdown on protesters in the northwest has risen to 35 as exiled opposition figures called for the isolation of President Bashar al-Assad.

    The violent clashes began Saturday and continued into Sunday, after thousands of residents turned out for the funerals of other anti-government protesters killed in the crackdown. The updated casualty count includes six members of the Syrian security forces killed during operations in the towns of Jisr al-Shughour and nearby Khan Sheikhoun.

    Residents and activists said the Syrian military withdrew Sunday from the central city of Hama and from southern villages but that the situation in those areas remains tense.

    Rights campaigners say at least 65 people died Friday, mostly in Hama. Witnesses say security forces used live ammunition to disperse tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets after Friday prayers, demanding Mr. Assad's resignation.

    The reports cannot be independently confirmed as the Syrian government has severely restricted the media and expelled foreign reporters, making it nearly impossible to verify events on the ground.

    At a meeting of Syria's mostly expatriate opposition in Brussels Sunday, leaders renewed calls on foreign governments and the United Nations to increase pressure on Mr. Assad. Opposition leaders also said they are working to compile legal cases against the Syrian government in several U.S. and European courts and the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

    The United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions on Mr. Assad and his inner circle.

    Syrian activists have been protesting almost daily since March for democratic reforms and an end to President Assad's 11-year rule.

    Rights groups say at least 1,100 people have been killed in the continuing crackdown and more than 10,000 arrested.

    Despite official denials, protest organizers say at least 25 children are among the dead. The victims include a 13-year-old boy who was reported to have been tortured and killed by security forces, an accusation Syrian authorities dispute.

    Opposition groups have issued calls to denounce the growing number of casualties among children in recent weeks. But the central neighborhoods of the capital, Damascus, and most of Syria's second city, Aleppo, have remained largely quiet as authorities tighten security there.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora