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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid