News / Middle East

    EU Broadens Syria Sanctions to Target Iran's Revolutionary Guard

    Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (file photo)
    Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (file photo)

    The European Union on Wednesday expanded Syria sanctions to target the elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard for its role in helping Syrian security forces crush the five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

    An EU statement said Iran's elite Quds Force has provided "technical assistance, equipment and other support to the Syrian security forces to repress civilian protest movements."

    Other new targets on the EU blacklist include several Syrian generals, a former defense minister and special envoy for President Assad, Hassan Turkmani, and close associates of the president's younger brother, Maher.

    Meanwhile, Syria's state-run SANA news agency says "armed terrorist groups" have killed eight Syrian soldiers, including an army officer during a pair of attacks on military vehicles.  The agency said the soldiers were killed Wednesday in towns near the central city of Homs.

    Earlier Wednesday, Syrian security forces continued raiding towns and villages throughout the country and arrested suspected government opponents.  Human rights groups said security forces used tanks in some of the raids, which began late Tuesday.

    In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference Syrians "have the right to democracy."  But he ruled out military intervention without an international mandate.   

    The United Nations says at least 2,200 people have died in Syria during the government's five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.  Assad has blamed much of the deadly violence on what he says are armed "gangs" and "terrorists."

    The Reuters news agency quoted an Arab League official Wednesday as saying the grouping would hold an urgent meeting on Syria Saturday.

    On Wednesday, the SANA news agency showed graphic photos of what it described as victims of an attack by "armed terrorist groups" in Homs.  It said 14 citizens had been "kidnapped, tortured and killed" by the assailants.

    On Tuesday, Western nations circulated a draft U.N. Security Council resolution calling for sanctions against Assad, influential family members and key associates.  

    U.S. and European delegations on the Security Council hope to put the resolution to a vote as soon as possible. They are, however, facing resistance from Russia, which has veto power.  Moscow has said it does not think sanctioning Damascus is the right approach at the moment.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora