News / Middle East

Syria Crackdown Continues Despite International Criticism

In this citizen journalism image, Syrian security forces lean out of a bus windows as they withdraw from the Damascus suburb of Saqba, Syria,  following a campaign of raids and arrests that are part of a nationwide crackdown against protesters calling for
In this citizen journalism image, Syrian security forces lean out of a bus windows as they withdraw from the Damascus suburb of Saqba, Syria, following a campaign of raids and arrests that are part of a nationwide crackdown against protesters calling for

As U.S. President Barack Obama and European leaders call on Bashar al-Assad to step down as president of Syria, witnesses inside the country say security forces continued to arrest scores of people in the last 24 hours.

Obama urged Assad to step aside “for the sake of the Syrian people,” insisting that he is “standing in their way.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reinforced the president's statement, saying the Syrian people deserve a better future.

"The people of Syria deserve a government that respects their dignity, protects their rights, and lives up to their aspirations. Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves,” said Clinton.

The remarks came as witnesses told Arab satellite channels of ongoing arrests in the cities of Latikiya, Hama and Homs, and security crackdowns elsewhere.

A Syrian opposition group on the Facebook Internet site showed videos of demonstrators chanting against the government Thursday in the city of Homs, amid claims of a general strike. Other protests reportedly took place overnight in Hama, in Aleppo and in the Damascus suburb of Douma. It is impossible to independently verify the claims, however, since most foreign correspondents are not being allowed into the country.

Syrian government television denied that a protest took place in Aleppo Wednesday night, showing a small group of government supporters gathered in the same square where the opposition video showed protesters gathering, earlier.

Opposition videos also showed a man identified as a Syrian captain, alongside his men, saying he had defected from the Syrian Army in order to protect the people. He said he and his men are defecting, rather than obey orders to kill civilians in the defense of a cruel and deadly regime.

Video from government TV showed Assad addressing members of his Ba'ath Party in Damascus to discuss proposed reforms. Opposition activists are insisting, however, that Assad step aside and that it is too late for reforms.

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

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid