News / Middle East

Syria Denies Report of Mass Grave in Daraa

Syrian citizens carry their belongings, as they cross the border illegally , fleeing from violence the western Syrian village of Talkalakh, in the Wadi Khaled area, about one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Lebanon-Syria border, north Lebanon,  May 16, 201
Syrian citizens carry their belongings, as they cross the border illegally , fleeing from violence the western Syrian village of Talkalakh, in the Wadi Khaled area, about one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Lebanon-Syria border, north Lebanon, May 16, 201

Multimedia

Audio

Syria’s interior ministry is denying reports by opposition sources of the existence of a mass grave in the southern flashpoint city of Daraa, the scene of a violent crackdown by the government. Opposition websites showed video Monday of bodies being pulled from the alleged mass grave on the outskirts of the city.

The interior ministry denial of the mass grave report was met with skepticism.

France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe insisted Tuesday that there was enough support in the UN Security Council to condemn Syria for the brutal crackdown against its people.

Syrian opposition groups posted a call for a “general strike” Wednesday on Facebook to protest the government crackdown. Activists are urging the Syrian public to hold “mass protests” that encompass the closing of “schools, universities, stores and restaurants.”

Several thousand students at Aleppo University held a candle-light protest vigil overnight that was later broken up by police. Many students were reportedly arrested. Other candlelight vigils were also held in two Damascus suburbs, according to media reports.

Witnesses say pro-government militiamen continued their crackdown in the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh, and sporadic gunfire could be heard on the Lebanese side of the border. Hundreds of refugees have fled to Lebanon since the crackdown began four days ago.

The Lebanese press is also reporting that the Syrian government has requested that three soldiers that fled into Lebanon over the weekend be handed over. Human rights groups say the soldiers could be tortured if they are sent back and are urging Lebanon not to heed the request.

In this photo taken on a government organized tour, soldiers and civilians gather in front of a burning official building following an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, May 17, 2011
In this photo taken on a government organized tour, soldiers and civilians gather in front of a burning official building following an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, May 17, 2011

In Libya, British jets bombed two government building in the capital Tripoli overnight, according to Britain’s defense ministry. One building was reportedly used by the government’s secret police to crack down on opponents.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim condemned the attacks, demanding that NATO and the Western alliance open a dialogue with Tripoli, instead of bombing the country:

"If they are really interested in protecting civilians, which is the main and only justification they proposed for their aggression against our nation," he said. "If they are truly interested in that, then we have called upon them to stop and to start talking to us."

Arab satellite channels also reported that Libyan Oil Minister Shoukri Ghanem defected to Tunisia, following dozens of other former Libyan officials and ambassadors in recent weeks. Witnesses said clashes between Libyan rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces near a rebel-held bordering crossing with Tunisia.

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

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

update Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid