News / Middle East

    Syrian Activists: 83 People Killed in Anti-Government Uprising

    Multimedia

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

    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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora