News / Middle East

Syria Sets Death Penalty for Terrorist Arms Smugglers

In this image from TV shown on the internet made available by the Sham News Network December 20, 2011, soldiers walk down the street in Daraa, Syria.
In this image from TV shown on the internet made available by the Sham News Network December 20, 2011, soldiers walk down the street in Daraa, Syria.

Syria's state-run news agency says President Bashar al-Assad has issued a new law allowing for a death sentence for anyone found to be distributing arms to terrorists.

Tuesday's announcement comes a day after Syria agreed to allow observers to monitor whether the government is following a peace plan designed to stop a crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Assad's government has blamed the months of unrest on "armed terrorist groups."

Rights activists say deadly violence continued across Syria on Monday despite the signing of the Arab League plan.

The activists said government security forces gunned down as many as 70 army deserters Monday as they fled their posts along the Turkish border, while another 30 people were killed in other parts of Syria.

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Monday condemning the violence. The U.N. says at least 5,000 people have been killed during the nine-month uprising.

Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Mekdad, signed an accord in Cairo that initially gives Arab League observers a one-month presence in the country.  The head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, says he expects the mission to begin within days.

Syria accepted the Arab League's demand to agree to the peace deal amid threats to bring Syria before the U.N. Security Council for possible international sanctions.

Critics say the move is just a delaying tactic by the government.

The head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghallioun, told reporters in Tunisia that Syria is buying time and "maneuvering" in order to prevent intervention by the Security Council. He called for military intervention.

The Arab League's peace proposal calls for the removal of troops and heavy weapons from the streets of Syrian cities, the opening of a dialogue with the opposition and allowing human rights workers and journalists into the country. Syria said it demanded changes to the plan without revealing what they are.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership and imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Damascus last month to pressure it into accepting the peace initiative.

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.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid