News / Middle East

5 Killed in Syria, Pressure Mounts on Government

Syrian refugee with word 'Go' on his forehead, in reference to President Bashar al-Assad, northern Lebanon, Nov 12, 2011.
Syrian refugee with word 'Go' on his forehead, in reference to President Bashar al-Assad, northern Lebanon, Nov 12, 2011.

Syrian rights groups say security forces killed five more people across the country Thursday, as tensions escalate in an eight-month government crackdown on protesters.

News of the deaths in Deir Ezzor, Homs, and Idlib, came Thursday from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. There was no independent confirmation of the casualties.

Meanwhile, international pressure continues to mount against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the killing of protesters.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Mr. Assad's uncle, an exiled former Syrian military commander, both called Thursday for the Syrian leader to leave power.

At the United Nations, Germany, Britain and France continued to push for a resolution condemning the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

China and Russia vetoed a similar U.N. Security Council draft resolution last month, and expressed renewed concern Thursday.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called for the crisis to be resolved through political means.  And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged all sides to resolve their differences peacefully. He said an attack on a Syrian military base by the Free Syrian Army was "very much like a civil war."

The Free Syrian Army is made up of defectors from government security forces.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also rejected the use of force in Syria Thursday but told French radio Syrian opposition groups must get more organized. Juppe said France is trying to help the Paris-based Syrian National Council.

These latest developments follow an ultimatum from Arab League ministers on Wednesday giving Syria's government three days to end the bloodshed and allow in teams of observers to monitor compliance.  They did not say what will happen if Damascus fails to comply.

Earlier in the week, the league also voted to suspend Syria's membership.

Syria is only the third nation in the Arab League's history to be suspended.

The United Nations says at least 3,500 people have been killed in connection with the Syrian revolt since March. Syria blames much of the violence on foreign-backed terrorists and religious extremists.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid