News / Middle East

    Syrian Violence Escalates as Diplomatic Efforts Falter

    Demonstrators gather during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Russia in Kafranbel near Idlib, January 20, 2012
    Demonstrators gather during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Russia in Kafranbel near Idlib, January 20, 2012

    Violence in Syria continued Friday, bringing to more than 50 the number of people killed there over the past two days, as a resolution to curb the bloodshed appeared to be stalled in the United Nations.

    In the northwestern city of Idlib, six security forces were among the more than 20 people left dead as a result of Friday's violence. Syrian activist Rami Abdul-Raham says the security forces were killed by a car bomb at a security checkpoint. Government forces were also reported to have carried out a raid in the flashpoint city of Homs.

    Syrian government forces continued also to attack the country's fourth largest city of Hama for a third day. Witnesses in the poor district of Hamadiya reported that artillery shells were being fired "randomly" at their neighborhood.

    Other witnesses say government forces continued to shell the Damascus suburb of Douma, inflicting numerous casualties. Outer suburbs of the capital came under attack, as well.

    Opposition websites also reported what they claim was a "massacre" in Syria's third largest city of Homs.

    The Free Syrian Army claimed in a video to be holding five Iranian captives.  The Free Syrian Army claims the men were working as government "snipers" and belong to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

    Iran's Mehr news agency, however, says they are engineers, kidnapped in Homs last October.

    A large crowd of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Homs to bury several victims of recent fighting,

    The Syrian government's attacks are taking place close to the 30th anniversary of a bloody siege that nearly destroyed the city of Hama in 1982, when government artillery killed between 12,000 and 20,000 people.

    Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, says it will be difficult for Syria's government to repeat what happened in 1982.  

    Diab says the government of Bashar al-Assad faces a revolt spread out across the four corners of the country.  Diab says he doesn't believe the regime can regain control, and says it is losing control in many places.

    Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani are due to meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York to discuss implementing a league plan for a national unity government and new elections.

    The Security Council was due to meet later Friday to begin discussions on Syria.

    Russia said Friday it will not support a joint Arab-Western draft resolution in the U.N. to end the 10-month-old crisis because it "does not take into account" Moscow's positions on how to curb the violence.  The stance is likely to stall progress on any U.N. action concerning Syria.

    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.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora