News / Middle East

Gunmen Attack Pro-Assad Syrian TV Station

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA, a damaged equipment storage room of the Ikhbariya TV station is seen after it was attacked by gunmen in the town of Drousha, south of Damascus, June 27, 2012.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA, a damaged equipment storage room of the Ikhbariya TV station is seen after it was attacked by gunmen in the town of Drousha, south of Damascus, June 27, 2012.
VOA News
Syria says rebel gunmen have stormed the headquarters of a pro-government television station, killing seven employees, while international envoy Kofi Annan announced a ministerial-level meeting later this week in Geneva that aims to end the escalating violence.

Wednesday's developments came as United Nations investigators accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of committing rights violations on "an alarming scale."

The pre-dawn attack on the al-Ikbariya satellite channel near Damascus killed three journalists and four security guards. The station - which resumed broadcasting shortly after the raid - is privately-owned but strongly supports Mr. Assad's government.

Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said the explosives that destroyed a number of the broadcaster's studios had been planted by "armed terrorists" - the term the government uses for rebels. Anti-government fighters denied carrying out the attack. They said a unit of the elite Syrian Republican Guard assigned to guard the station had defected and attacked other government soldiers.

  • A damaged building of al-Ikbariya TV is seen after it was attacked by gunmen, in the town of Drousha, about 20 kilometers (14 miles) south of Damascus, June 27, 2012. (photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA)
  • Damaged equipment at the site of an attack on the pro-government al-Ikbariya satellite television channel's offices outside Damascus
  • A Syrian man stands inside a burnt room of al-Ikbariya TV station in Drousha (photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA)
  • Damaged control room of al-Ikbariya TV station (photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA)
  • A damaged equipment storage room of the Ikhbariya TV station after it was attacked by gunmen in Drousha (photo released by the Syrian official news agency, SANA)
  • Damaged buildings after gunmen stormed the headquarters of al-Ikbariya

Activists say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Mr. Assad's government broke out in March of last year and that the death toll has increased sharply during the past few weeks.

Annan, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, said Saturday's "action group" meeting would attempt to agree on principles for a "Syrian-led political transition." He said the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council had been invited as well as representatives of the Arab League and Turkey.

Major regional players such as Iran - an important Syrian ally - and Saudi Arabia were conspicuously omitted. The United States has strongly objected to Tehran's participation, asserting it has facilitated Mr. Assad's brutal repression during the nearly 16-month-old conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have said they would attend.

Meanwhile, a United Nations panel investigating human rights violations in Syria said the situation is "dangerously and quickly deteriorating" and that fighting has "escalated dramatically" since an April cease-fire deal.
 

UN says fighting in Syria "escalated dramatically"i
|| 0:00:00
X
June 27, 2012 2:25 PM

The investigators said they were unable to conclusively determine who was responsible for a May 25 attack on the central town of Houla, which killed 108 people, but it considers the possibility that pro-government forces "may have been responsible for many of the deaths."

The panel's Brazilian chairman, Paulo Pinheiro, said "gross human rights violations" - including torture and summary executions - are regularly committed by both sides.

The commission highlighted the plight of children caught in the conflict and the use of sexual violence against men, women and children, particularly by pro-government forces. Pinheiro said his team is especially concerned about reports of the opposition using children as medical porters and messengers, and exposing them to the risk of death and injury.

In a 20-page report, U.N. investigators warned that the killings are increasingly driven by sectarian, not political, motives.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Faisal Khabbaz Hamoui, dismissed the accusations against the government and warned Damascus would end its cooperation with international agencies. He then walked out of the council chamber.

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

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kanaikaal irumporai
June 27, 2012 6:31 PM
So, by going after a civilian target and killing some unarmed person and attacking a media site, these people have committed terrorist acts. Then it would be question as to how the US and other western powers continue to back such outfits that engage in terror, and why the US is silent about listing the "Free Syrian Army" on their list of foreign terorist organizations. Or, may be it's the US and it's allies that, if attacked in similar way, can call somebody terrorist and not the others! Here it becomes very clear that the whole issue is not about serving justice to the people to th Syrian people who have suffered under two geenerations of Assads with support of the big powers, but merely unseating a regime that's no longer useful for the west.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid