News / Middle East

Syria Braces for More Anti-Regime Protests

Syrian military vehicles leave Daraa, May 5, 2011
Syrian military vehicles leave Daraa, May 5, 2011

Syrian government forces expanded their crackdown on public opposition Thursday uprising, deploying tanks around the historic city of Hama, where the Syrian regime crushed a revolt almost 20 years ago. Opposition websites are calling for further anti-government protests Friday.

The Syrian government released a number of mostly young detainees arrested in recent days, in what appeared to be a calculated gesture to pull back from the brink of conflict.  However, rights activists say there were more arrests in Banias and nearby villages.

Tanks and military personnel remained positioned to intervene further in the restive flashpoint cities of Homs, Hama, Banyas, and suburbs of Daraa, but no clashes were reported. A fresh opposition protest is expected Friday, but the government crackdown could limit turnout.

The city of Homs, shelled by army tanks Wednesday, was quiet, but most shops and businesses were closed and streets appeared deserted.

Security forces and government militiamen also reportedly arrested scores of people when they broke up a demonstration by several thousand students at Aleppo University late Wednesday.  

Dozens of young people held a nighttime vigil in the coastal city of Latakia, according to a video on Facebook.  Foreign journalists are not being allowed to enter Syria, so the vigil and other reported protests could not be independently confirmed.

Syrian government television repeated claims that terrorists and outside agitators have been attacking army troops.  It says the government is trying to restore order.

Meanwhile, in Libya, NATO planes attacked targets in Tripoli including part of leader Moammar Gadhafi’s military compound. The airstrike began just after Libyan television showed a meeting between Gadhafi and tribal leaders.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said a bomb dropped by a NATO jet killed two Libyan journalists filming a documentary, in an area used as a playground for children.  He refused to allow journalists to visit what several claimed was a bunker under the playground.

Moussa denounced the NATO bombings and said the Libyan government has repeatedly accepted a truce and negotiations.

He says the Gadhafi government is the only side that has announced it accepted all peace initiatives, including plans proposed by the African Union and Turkey, and agreed to peace and dialogue. Moussa claims the rebels and NATO have refused all attempts at peace and dialogue because - in his words - they know that a peace process will turn them into losers, since the Libyan people will reject them.

NATO says the Libyan leader and his forces have been attacking their own people, and that their offensive must stop immediately.

Fighting continued in several other parts of Libya Thursday.  Rebels claim they now control 85 percent of the city of Misrata - including the airport - and have ousted Gadhafi loyalists.

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

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid