News

Syria Aid Effort Widens as Government Attacks Continue

A Syrian child with her family, which fled from the Syrian town of Qusair near Homs, at the Lebanese-Syrian border village of Qaa, eastern Lebanon, March 5, 2012.
A Syrian child with her family, which fled from the Syrian town of Qusair near Homs, at the Lebanese-Syrian border village of Qaa, eastern Lebanon, March 5, 2012.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says aid workers in Syria have reached two besieged Homs neighborhoods, widening their help efforts. The humanitarian relief comes as two U.N.-related envoys plan to visit Syria in the coming days and as Syrian government forces continued shelling in some areas.

A resident of the town of Rastan, north of Homs, describes destruction from government shelling Monday.  Witnesses say government artillery has shelled Rastan for nearly two weeks.

Arab satellite channels say government forces set fire to some homes and shops in the Homs district of Baba Amr, which rebels left last week.

Syrian state television says government forces “cleaned up a bastion of foreign, Islamic terrorists. ” It showed video of what it said are seized drugs and munitions.

Opposition activists claim government tanks have stormed the mountain town of Bayroud, near Syria's border, overlooking Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, says a Christian resident of Bayroud described the raid.

He says the situation in Bayroud is dire because of the extreme cold and recent snowfall, which makes it difficult to flee. He said the Lebanese Army is also not allowing many Syrians to enter Lebanon.

But witnesses along Lebanon's northern border with Syria say that several thousand people have fled into Lebanon in the past 48 hours.  Alhurra television reported that the Lebanese Army arrested 39 armed men after they crossed the border.

Diab said Syrian forces appear to be concentrating attacks on regions along its borders with Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to prevent an influx of arms.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says aid workers in Syria have reached two Homs neighborhoods near Baba Amr. ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan says that a Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy arrived on Monday in the Homs neighborhoods of al-Tawzii and al-Inshaat.

Aid workers have been trying to enter Baba Amr itself since Friday after receiving Syrian government approval to do so, but troops have blocked access to the district.

On the diplomatic front, the United Nations says two envoys plan to visit Syria.

U.N. humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos says Syria has granted her permission to visit Damascus from Wednesday to Friday to discuss the crisis.

U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan is expected to travel to the country on Saturday on his first visit since being appointed to the post last month. Annan's office says he will seek an "urgent end to all violence and human rights violations."

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.
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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs