News / Middle East

19 Killed as Syrian Opposition Sets General Strike

Anti-government protesters carry coffins of Sunni Muslim villagers killed in Hula, near Homs, Nov. 2, 2011.
Anti-government protesters carry coffins of Sunni Muslim villagers killed in Hula, near Homs, Nov. 2, 2011.

Syrian rights activists say at least 19 people were killed Thursday as government forces cracked down on opposition protesters and fought with army deserters in several parts of the country.

The activists say 13 civilians were among those killed, mostly in the central region of Homs. They say some of the dead were shot by security forces searching for dissidents, while the bodies of the others were located after they had gone missing. Homs has been the center of the eight-month-old uprising against autocratic Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the Associated Press, Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said an 8-year-old girl was among the victims in Homs.

Rights activists say attacks by suspected army defectors also killed six government soldiers, four of them in an ambush on their checkpoint in Idlib province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tells VOA several major towns observed a general strike Thursday in solidarity with Homs, where dozens of people are believed to have been killed in recent days. The rights group says the strike was supported by many private-sector workers and schools, both in suburbs of Damascus and the areas around Homs, Hama, Daraa, Deir Ezzor and Idlib.

Syrian rights activists uploaded videos to YouTube that appeared to show many closed shops and stores in those communities.

The latest casualties and strike action could not be independently verified because Syria bars most foreign journalists from operating in the country.

Arab League pledge defied

Rights groups accuse Syrian security forces of killing more than 110 people since the government agreed last week to an Arab League plan that calls for an end to violence.

Under the agreement, Damascus promised to withdraw its security forces from the streets and begin talks with the opposition. The Arab League will meet on Saturday to discuss a response to what it sees as Syria's failure to honor those pledges.

On Wednesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman urged the league to take a tougher stance against Damascus as part of a global effort to force al-Assad from power.

Earlier this week, the U.N. human rights office said at least 3,500 people have been killed in the country since the anti-government uprising began in March. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Wednesday Syria faces a serious risk of descending into an armed struggle similar to the one Libya experienced this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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

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.
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