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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid