News / Middle East

Syrian Activists: 83 People Killed in Anti-Government Uprising

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Mousab Azzawi of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

TEXT SIZE - +

A Syrian rights group says government security forces in Syria have killed more than 80 people in the last 24 hours, making it one of the deadliest spans of an eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Mousab Azzawi, Coordinator of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London, speaks with VOA's Susan Yackee about more deaths occured today:

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday it documented the killings of 38 civilians and 18 suspected army defectors in Daraa province on Monday.  The group also reported several deaths in Hama Monday and said many other people were killed in Homs, including several whose bodies were found dumped in the street with signs of torture.

The rights group added that the Syrian Free Army, composed of military defectors, says its forces killed at least 34 government soldiers in fighting Monday.

A Look At Syria's Main Opposition Groups

  • Syrian National Council:

    Turkey-based coalition of varying ideologies is Syria's largest opposition grouping. Secular dissident Bourhan Ghalioun announced the council's formation in October and said it rejects foreign intervention. Rejects dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad's government and has been urging him to resign. Has created a general assembly, a general secretariat and an executive committee whose members will chair the council on a rotating basis.

  • National Coordination Committee:

    Primarily based in Syria. Wants the government to enact reforms though dialogue and by building new civilian institutions. Headed by Hassan Abdul-Azim, who has been demanding an end to President Assad's crackdown as a condition for any dialogue between the government and the opposition.

  • Free Syrian Army:

    Comprises thousands of military defectors. Formed initially to protect civilians but has shown an increased willingness to go on the offensive against pro-government forces.

There was no independent confirmation of the casualties because Syria bars most foreign journalists from the country. Syrian rights activists say about 200 other people were killed this month in the government's crackdown on dissent, many of them in the central city of Homs.

In Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country no longer expects Assad to meet the demands of the Syrian people. He again condemned the recent attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions in Syria and he called on the Syrian government to apologize.

Turkey's energy minister said the country has halted plans with Damascus to jointly explore six oil wells within Syria, as tensions continue to rise between the two neighbors.

In Moscow, leaders of the main Syrian opposition council met with Russian leaders. Interfax news agency reports the Syrian National Council urged Russia to demand that President Assad step down.  

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged all opposition groups that shun violence to join the Arab League initiative to start a dialogue between Syria's government and opposition leaders.

Russia and China have so far blocked any moves in the U.N. Security Council to condemn Assad's government.

Jordan's King Abdullah Monday became the first Arab leader to publicly urge Syria's president to step down. Jordan was among the 18 Arab League members that voted Saturday to suspend Syria's membership because of the government's continued deadly crackdown on political opposition.

Syria's suspension from the league will take effect Wednesday, the same day Arab foreign ministers are due to meet in Morocco to discuss the situation.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem blasted the Arab League action, saying Monday that it was illegal and a dangerous step.

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

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

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

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid