News / Middle East

    More than 200 Dead After Shelling in Syrian City

    A view of houses that residents said were damaged during a military crackdown on protesters against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is seen in Rasten near Homs, February 3, 2012.
    A view of houses that residents said were damaged during a military crackdown on protesters against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is seen in Rasten near Homs, February 3, 2012.

    Syrian opposition supporters buried the dead Saturday from what they are calling a “massacre” in the country's third largest city of Homs Friday.  More than 200 people were reportedly killed and many others wounded in random shelling of an opposition controlled neighborhood. Opposition activists also stormed Syria's embassies in Egypt and Kuwait, amid widespread condemnation of the violence. Meanwhile at the United Nations Saturday,  Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.  

    Hundreds of angry mourners chanted slogans against the regime of President Bashar al Assad Saturday, as they carried the coffins of those who died in what is being called a bloody “massacre.”

    Opposition witnesses claim that government tanks and artillery opened fire on the opposition neighborhood stronghold of Khalidiya Friday evening, destroying entire buildings and burying scores of people under the rubble. Opposition videos showed at least several dozen corpses of mostly young men.

    Syrian government TV called the reports a “fabrication,” and insisted that they were meant to influence the United Nations.

    Opposition activist Abou Khaled al Homsi told al Hurra TV that the cannons are now silent, but he denies the government claim:

    He says that there's a kind of calm that's fallen over Homs after funerals for the victims, though some skirmishes continue between the Free Syrian Army and the Assad forces at the entrances of several neighborhoods. He says that Syrian media reports are false and claims that it does not bother the government to bomb an entire neighborhood and kill 300 people.”

    Government forces opened fire on protesters in the Damascus suburb of Daraya Saturday, during what was reportedly a sympathy march for the victims of Friday's bombing in Homs. Videos of protests in other towns and cities were posted on opposition websites.

    Scores of opposition protesters attacked the Syrian Embassy in Cairo, setting fire to part of the building and ransacking the ambassador's office. Another crowd of angry protesters also attacked the Syrian Embassy in the Gulf state of Kuwait.
    There were also reported attacks on Syrian embassies in Berlin, London and Athens and on the Syrian consulate in Istanbul.

    Middle East analyst Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution argues that its still difficult to predict if and when President Assad is going to fall, but that his power has been seriously eroded. "People say (Assad) is a dead man walking, but it's not true. People say his fall is imminent. People say 'within weeks,' but the weeks stretch on. I think that by its nature, the standoff between Bashar and his opposition, the dissidents, the protesters....this standoff is uncallable. We don't know how it ends. He's hunkered down, but the opposition, the Syrian population that has broken with him. I can't see them going back to obedience," he said.

    Ajami does believe, however, that the equation in Syria has changed dramatically in recent weeks, after parts of Damascus and Syria's second city of Aleppo joined the protests, and as the economy sours. "Something happened recently, which I think will change the dynamics. I've always refused to make any predictions, but I think the eruption of both Aleppo and Damascus has changed the dynamics. The equation has been altered. The last arrow in the quiver of Bashar, that he is good for commerce, good for the bazaar and good for stability, they're gone," he said.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora