News / Middle East

    HRW: Syria Must Stop Illegal Demolitions

    This combination of two satellite images released by Human Rights Watch shows the Masha al-Arb’een neighborhood in Hama, Syria on Sept. 28, 2012, left, and on Oct. 13, 2012.
    This combination of two satellite images released by Human Rights Watch shows the Masha al-Arb’een neighborhood in Hama, Syria on Sept. 28, 2012, left, and on Oct. 13, 2012.
    VOA News
    Human Rights Watch is calling on the Syrian government to make a commitment during peace talks with the opposition to end what the group says are illegal demolitions.

    In a report released on Thursday, Human Rights Watch detailed demolitions in the central city of Hama and areas in and around Damascus during 2012 and 2013.

    It said the affected neighborhoods are widely considered opposition strongholds, and that the demolitions "appeared to intentionally punish the civilian population."

    The group based the report on satellite imagery analysis and interviews with witnesses and people whose houses were razed. It says the demolitions covered the equivalent of 200 football fields, including multi-story apartment buildings.

    Human Rights Watch wants the government to compensate those who lost homes.

    The report cited explanations from government officials and pro-government media saying the demolitions were carried out because of illegal constructions or urban planning efforts, but said witnesses and other officials linked the demolitions to the ongoing violence.

    Satellite Images of Destruction in Wadi al-Jouz, Hama in 2013

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: TheAZCowBoy from: Tombstone, AZ.
    February 02, 2014 4:29 PM
    OMG! Voice of America now censores comments that might be so brave (honest?) as to call the UNITED SNAKES (US/Israel/NATO) the biggest threat to world peace (piece?) in the new millennium?!

    Psst: RU and HRW currently supporting the UNITED SNAKES (and terrorist Saudi prince Bandar) who supplied Chemical Weapons to the 'rebel's' in Syria?

    Shoo LQQKS like it!'

    Psst: You are as corrupt as the Jewish 'Bank of America,' mafia, U related?

    by: Anonymous
    February 02, 2014 2:53 AM
    The above argument is a political construct designed to produce a pre-determined result. A guerrilla war is one fought by non-military combatants. The 'civilians', as Human Rights Watch calls them, are the fighters. The Syrian government is therefore getting rid of them. I'm sure they'd like them all to flee to New York. In the good old days, Genghis Khan or Timur the Lame would have killed the lot. However we're much nicer, these days.

    by: Anonymous
    January 31, 2014 2:30 AM
    I don't understand, assad claims it is all about terrorism, but what he in fact is doing IS terrorism.

    The definition of Terrorism:
    The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

    He wants to rule the country by force rather than the people wanting him. He is TRYING to take the country hostage. The only people that can help the Syrian people is the International Community to go after assad and force him to face the International Criminal Court. Until this happens more and more genocide.
    In Response

    by: TheAZCowBoy from: Tombstone, AZ
    February 02, 2014 4:18 PM
    Only a fool would move on the lies and half-truths of the UNITED SNAKES (US/Israel/NATO) buddies over at HRW. (Note: Also, when you are attacking a 'rats nest' of the UNITED SNAKES enemies 'rebel/mercenary' forces who are holding the native population hostage - you are not committing war crime - you are liberating them!)
    As for the definition of the word 'Terrorism.' This is when a 'bully' <imperialistic generally> nation sails across the sea with its best trained killers (Seal 6 types?) and its best high-tech weapons (F-16s, Apache Helicopters and Predators) and attempts to blungeon this (generally) tiny impotent nation as it rapes it of its strategic resources, Oil/Gas, Land & Water <Israel> and then defends its terroristic war crimes by calling that nations 'Minutemen/Taliban' (defending their country with old obsolete Vietnam era AK-47's and RPG-7 grenade launchers) using alot of guts in defending their country' against imperialistic terrorists - US!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora