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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid