News / Middle East

    Syria Accuses US of Inciting Unrest; US Envoy Attacked

    Pro-Syrian regime protesters, shout slogans and hold up an Arabic placard read:"Listen Sarkozy you checked the Syrian people's DNA and you found cells of honor that you don't have," as they protest in front the EU mission office, in Damascus, Sept. 29, 20
    Pro-Syrian regime protesters, shout slogans and hold up an Arabic placard read:"Listen Sarkozy you checked the Syrian people's DNA and you found cells of honor that you don't have," as they protest in front the EU mission office, in Damascus, Sept. 29, 20

    Syria increased its criticism of the United States, accusing Washington Thursday of inciting violence against security forces.  Earlier Thursday, government loyalists hurled tomatoes and stones at a U.S. envoy.

    A state media report says a Foreign Ministry official accused the United States of encouraging "armed terrorist groups" to carry out attacks against Syrian troops.

    The SANA news agency quotes the unnamed official as describing U.S. rhetoric as "irresponsible." The official also says the remarks could encourage violence and blamed U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner for some of them.

    Eggs used by supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad to pelt the US Ambassador, Robert Ford when he entered the office of an opposition member in Damascus litter the ground, September 29, 2011
    Eggs used by supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad to pelt the US Ambassador, Robert Ford when he entered the office of an opposition member in Damascus litter the ground, September 29, 2011

    Meanwhile, U.S. ambassador Robert Ford eluded stones and tomatoes thrown his way by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday. Witnesses says about 100 people moved in on Ford as he was heading into a meeting with an opposition leader in Damascus.

    U.S. spokesman Toner said Ford and his staff returned unharmed to the embassy, but added that several embassy vehicles were badly damaged.

    The U.S. envoy and French ambassador Eric Chevallier have been vocal critics of Mr. Assad's ongoing crackdown on dissent.

    On Saturday, government loyalists threw stones and eggs as Chevallier as he was leaving a meeting.

    President Assad has repeatedly sent out security forces to quell protests from anti-government activists who have been calling for his resignation.

    The United Nations says the government crackdown has killed at least 2,700 people since mass protests started in March. Syria says the death toll is lower and includes members of the security forces.

    The U.N. Security Council is considering a possible compromise resolution on Syria that avoids immediate sanctions but condemns escalating violence, as clashes between security forces and dissident soldiers continue.

    On Wednesday, the Council discussed rival draft resolutions on the Syrian crisis drawn up by European powers and Russia.

    France, Britain, Germany and Portugal proposed a new resolution in which they drop demands for immediate sanctions, but threaten Mr. Assad with action if he does not end his deadly crackdown.

    However, Russia opposes any hint of sanctions. The latest version of its draft resolution seeks to condemn violence by all sides in Syria.

    India, Brazil and some other non-permanent Council members also are against imposing punitive measures on Damascus.

    Earlier attempts at an agreement ended in August with a presidential statement, which does not carry the same weight as a resolution. Diplomats say they hope to vote on the new draft by the end of the week.

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

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

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora