News

Rights Group Accuses Syria of War Crimes

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib May 1, 2012. Poster reads:
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib May 1, 2012. Poster reads: "No need to observe our bleeding..we want who can stop it".

An international rights group Wednesday accused Syria of committing war crimes, while activists said rebels killed 15 security force members in what could be another sign a U.N.-brokered cease-fire has frayed.  

Human Rights Watch says Syrian forces and pro-government militias killed at least 95 civilians between late March and early April in the northwestern Idlib province, in the lead-up to the April cease-fire brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

In a Wednesday report, the group's Anna Neistat said it was as if government forces "used every minute before the cease-fire to cause harm."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels killed 15 security force members in an ambush in Aleppo province on Wednesday.

The the incident came a day after rights groups and activists said at least 30 people were killed in anti-government related violence, including nine family members an Idlib province village.

U.N. observers say the Syrian military still has heavy weapons stationed in cities, and that the government and opposition have both violated a peace plan aimed at ending the unrest.

Meanwhile, mission spokesman Neeraj Singh says the number of military observers in Syria rose to 31 on Wednesday.

"The teams are already in the area, as you  know, Homs, Hama, Daraa, idlib, so in their areas they will be carrying out activities," Singh said.

Under the U.N. plan, the number of monitors in Syria will eventually increase to 300.

The United Nations estimates at least 9,000 people have been killed since President Bashar al-Assad began cracking down on an uprising against him in March of last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Huang June
May 02, 2012 9:00 PM
If torturing children, raping women, bombing houses of worship, murdering innocent civilians, and committing acts of genocide are not War Crimes, The US government and military should had been put on trial long ago for killing millions of innocent Vietnamese people.

by: Gadhaffi
May 02, 2012 5:15 PM
I say to the mislead commenting under the name America.
You are a slave to the western media, you will never be free. You are the guilty one for spreading war based on your master's view of what Youtube videos you have about this so called "uprising". You have been saying they will fall for 15 months, have they yet? No! Face it - you have already been beaten. You are just brainwashed so why not go back to your masters instructions on FOX news and Aljazeera! How lame...

by: Mike
May 02, 2012 2:24 PM
The biggest war crime was the western media and governments encouraging the uprising and then stepping-back and not providing tangible assistance. Now, the Islamic terrorists are stepping-in and filling the void. Nice going! Now we will have another psycho-dictatorship only closer to the EU. Way to go!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs