News / Middle East

Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral

A veiled woman takes part in a protest calling on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down, in front of the United Nations headquarters in Amman, on May 21, 2011.
A veiled woman takes part in a protest calling on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down, in front of the United Nations headquarters in Amman, on May 21, 2011.

Activists in Syria say at least three people were killed Saturday when security forces fired on mourners holding funeral services for at least 44 people killed in Friday's protest demonstrations.  Opposition websites are also claiming that medics were not allowed to treat the victims.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh is saying once again that he will sign a Gulf Cooperation Council plan that paves the way for him to resign.    

Funeral goers chanted slogans against the government in Syria’s third largest city of Homs Saturday, before security forces blocked their march with bloody volleys of live ammunition. An opposition group says on the social networking site Facebook that doctors and medics were not allowed to treat the victims.

Funeral processions were held in a number of towns and cities, including one in Kfar Roumie, to bury victims of Friday’s bloody crackdown on protesters who were demonstrating against President Bashar al-Assad's government.  Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria confirms the high death toll from Friday's protests.

Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral
Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral

Videos were posted on Facebook of pro-government militiamen carrying clubs and beating protesters in Latakia, Banyas and Hama on Friday. One video showed government militiamen firing on residents of Homs as they tried to rescue a wounded man lying in the street.

Another video showed protesters tearing down a large billboard bearing the picture of President Assad in the city of Idlib. Elsewhere, al-Jazeera TV showed video of protesters setting fire to a ruling Ba'ath Party office near Latakia. It was not possible to verify the events, however, since foreign correspondents are not being allowed into Syria.

Syria’s official government daily Teshrine accused “armed groups of shooting and killing 17 civilians and members of the security forces.” It also claimed that members of a “terrorist cell confessed to carrying arms and a large quantity of explosives.”

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, says that the Syrian government appears undeterred by U.S. and European Union condemnations or economic sanctions in continuing its bloody and brutal crackdown. "The number of demonstrators has declined, yet the number of casualties has increased, and that's very alarming, since it appears as if the regime in Damascus realizes that the outside world will not do anything, except to protest. The regime in Damascus feels that they have a free hand to crush the demonstrators, so I don't know where this is going," he said.

Khashan also pointed out that the anti-government protest movement appeared to be strongest in outlying regions of the country, while the two largest cities of Damascus and Aleppo remained mostly quiet.  "So far it seems that protests in Syria are mainly inviting poor people. As long as it remains confined to the poor it will continue to be within the ability of the regime to contain it," he said.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh addressed an army gathering Saturday to mark the 21st anniversary of the unification of the country. He called the ongoing protest movement against him a “coup”, but claimed that he would sign a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plan paving the way for him to step down.

The GCC indicated Saturday that its secretary general, Abdullatif al Zayani, was on his way back to Yemen. He left several days ago after the president balked at signing the plan to step down. Despite the news, security forces shot and wounded a number of protesters in Hodeida Saturday.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid