News / Middle East

    Syrian Tanks Shell Homs Neighborhood

    Syrian Tanks Shell Homs Neighborhood
    Syrian Tanks Shell Homs Neighborhood

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Syrian government tanks pounded the Bab Amr district of the flashpoint city of Homs, intensifying pressure on opposition groups.

    Retaliation?

    Witnesses say Syrian Army tanks shelled parts of the flashpoint city Homs for close to three hours. On a Facebook web site, a Syrian opposition group accused the government of attacking the area after residents tore down posters of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Witness reports say security forces have encircled the area and government snipers have taken position on tall buildings. Communications have reportedly been cut and residents are hiding in their houses.

    Witnesses also say security forces and government militias entered the town of Jassem overnight, and have been arresting scores of young men. Protesters in Jassem, a suburb of the southern city of Daraa, held noisy anti-government demonstrations Tuesday.

    Syrian human rights activists say thousands of young men have been rounded up in recent days in more than a dozen towns and cities. British journalist Martin Fletcher told the BBC he saw a large number of young men that were being held in a basement detention center near Damascus.

    Anti-terrorism effort

    Syrian government TV repeated claims the army was “engaged in a battle against terrorists,” and it had “captured hundreds.” It also charged al-Jazeera TV with what it called “fabricating pictures and videos to incite violence.”

    Syrian TV also interviewed ordinary citizens who claimed that life was normal in their town or city. Women told the television fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, eggs and bread were all available and several men claimed that electricity, water and telephones were all working.

    No 'foreign plot'

    At the European parliament in Strasbourg, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton denounced Syrian claims the protest movement was a “foreign plot,” saying it represented “a popular aspiration for democracy and the rule of law.”  She also urged Syria to stop repressing its people.

    "Our concern, in this house and in the European Union, is for the people of Daraa, where the U.N. has been refused access, in Banias, where the crackdown continues, in Hama, where the tanks have moved in," she said. "Mr. President, the Syrian people will not budge at tanks.  We say to the regime to change course and to change course now."

    The European Union recently imposed sanctions on 13 close relatives or associates of President Assad.  One of those sanctioned, Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad, warned in an interview with the New York Times that there would be “no stability in Israel” if Syria was “not stable.”

     

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

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.