News / Middle East

Syria Shelling Kills 74, Including Two Journalists

Syrian activists say two foreign journalists were killed Wednesday by government forces shelling the restive central city of Homs, Feb. 22, 2012.
Syrian activists say two foreign journalists were killed Wednesday by government forces shelling the restive central city of Homs, Feb. 22, 2012.

Syrian government troops kept up shelling of the protest-hub city of Homs Wednesday, killing more than 70 people including two Western journalists. The shelling continues 17 days of attacks as the International Committee of the Red Cross tries to organize a humanitarian cease-fire.

Showing what appears to be two bodies shrouded by blankets near a staircase piled with rubble, Syrian opposition activist Khaled Abu Salah describes the barrage that killed Marie Colvin, a prominent American war correspondent working for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik. Activists said several other journalists were wounded in the attack on a makeshift media center in the rebel-held Baba Amr district of Homs.

Fellow opposition activist Selim Qabbani tells Alhurra TV the make-shift press center where the journalists were working appeared to have been deliberately targeted and that the rest of Baba Amr district was also badly hit.

"Government forces fired 11 rockets, shells and mortar rounds at the apartment being used by the journalists -- the situation in Baba Amr is extremely bad, more than 17 civilians were killed Wednesday," he says, explaining that it was difficult to identify the deceased and that government forces are preventing anyone from fleeing the district to seek refuge.

Other opposition activists charge that Syrian reconnaissance planes have been flying over Baba Amr for several days as part of efforts to locate satellite dishes used by foreign journalists.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says it is investigating whether Syrian forces deliberately targeted the building.

The Syrian government issued a statement saying it was not aware the journalists were in the country. Syrian state media reported that the Information Ministry was "calling on foreign journalists who have entered Syria illegally to regularize their status with the government."

Syria does not permit foreign journalists to travel freely and has kept most of them out.

A number of international leaders expressed outrage over the killings, including French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who said it is “time for the Syrian regime to go." His comments come ahead of an international gathering in Tunisia on the conflict in Syria.

Political scientist Khattar Abou Diab, a professor of international relations at L’Universite Paris-Sud, says the international community has lost patience with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after witnessing the brutality of his forces. The killing of foreign journalists, he adds, highlights the greater drama being lived out by Syrian people, who, according to some estimates, have suffered nearly 7,500 deaths, thousands of wounded, and the devastation of several cities during the government's crackdown on dissent.

The French foreign ministry, he says, is demanding that Syria allow free access to the wounded in Homs so that they can be treated.

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 International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid