News / Middle East

Elderly, Children Evacuated from Blockaded Syrian City

Civilians carry their belongings as they walk towards a meeting point to be evacuated from a besieged area of Homs, Syria, Feb. 7, 2014.
Civilians carry their belongings as they walk towards a meeting point to be evacuated from a besieged area of Homs, Syria, Feb. 7, 2014.
VOA News
The United Nations says 83 Syrian civilians, including the elderly and children, were evacuated from rebel-held areas of the city of Homs Friday.

Aid workers escorted frail old men and women draped in blankets as part of a three-day humanitarian pause to let civilians out and help in.

A year-long blockade of Homs by Syrian government forces has created severe food shortages. U.N. relief coordinator Valerie Amos says many sick and wounded civilians remain trapped. She is calling on all sides to grant humanitarian workers full access to Homs and other besieged Syrian cities.

Watch related video report by VOA's Al Pessin

Syria Talks Resume But Won’t Be Easieri
X
February 07, 2014 11:44 AM
Syrian government and opposition negotiators are to meet for a second round of talks in Geneva starting Monday, but there is little expectation of any breakthrough that could end the nearly three-year-long civil war. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.

Russia said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government made an agreement with the United Nations Thursday for a three-day cease-fire to allow aid into Homs.

Also Friday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad said the government will take part in the next round of peace talks with the opposition. The new talks are set to open Monday.

The talks, organized by the United States and Russia, have so far made little progress at ending Syria's civil war. More than 130,000 people have been killed and 9 million forced from their homes since the conflict began in 2011.  

In Washington, U.S. Homeland Security director Jeh Johnson said Syria has become a matter of homeland security.

Johnson said Friday that Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are heading to Syria to fight. He said extremists are also trying to recruit Westerners, indoctrinate them, and send them back to their home countries on extremist missions.

Johnson and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were in Poland this week for talks with counterparts from six European countries. Johnson says Syria was the number one topic of conversation.


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

  • A man waves his arms at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in the al-Shaar district, Aleppo, Feb. 9, 2014. 
  • A man walks at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in the al-Shaar district, Aleppo, Feb. 9, 2014. 
  • A boy sits next to a trolley containing belongings at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing, Aleppo, Feb. 9, 2014. 
  • Civilians carry their belongings as they walk at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing, a passageway separating the Bustan al-Qasr district, which is under the rebels' control and the Al-Masharqa district, an area controlled by the Assad regime, Aleppo, Feb.  9, 2014. 
  • People wheel a sick man on a makeshift stretcher at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing, Aleppo, Feb. 9, 2014. 
  • Boys walk along a damaged street in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter sits amid the rubble of damaged buildings in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • People sit on the top of a truck at the Syrian border crossing of Bab al-Hawa, at the Syrian-Turkish border, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Fighters from the Amjad al-Islam brigades stand near an improvised artillery weapon in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter holds a teapot as he runs to avoid snipers in Deir al-Zor, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • People walk along a street as men ride on a motorcycle in Deir al-Zor, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters take cover during the launch of a homemade rocket towards forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad near the Justice Palace and the Citadel of Aleppo, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • A man pulls a trolley as a woman walks behind at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing, a passageway separating Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr, which is under the rebels' control and Al-Masharqa neighborhood, an area controlled by the regime, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a U.N. relief worker giving food supplies to a Palestinian woman in a wheelchair at the gate of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp on the southern edge of Damascus, Feb. 4, 2014.
  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows residents of the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp carrying their belongings as they flee the camp on the southern edge of Damascus, Feb. 4, 2014.

You May Like

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nicholas Akuamoah-Boateng from: Kumasi- Ghana
February 08, 2014 12:41 AM
I am saddened everyday when I watch TV and see buildings, human beings animals being destroyed because of power of one man and the rest of the world doing nothing about it!!! Oh! My God! Are we christians? Are we Moslems as we claim? America and his allies, NATO , where are you? Why were you swift on Libya ,etc? Don't you feel sad when you sit down at the dinning table with your wives and children watch innocent children, women, the elderly animals going hungry? Where is the Pope? Where are the Moslem leaders? Just one man killing 130,000 innocent lives, displacing about nine million. Why? Great Britain, are you not great anymore for you to allow your citizen to marry such an animal? I need answers please! As I am writing, I am watching Homs on tv and it is HORRIBLE!!!

by: Jethromayham from: USA
February 07, 2014 1:55 PM
It is obvious once civilian are gone the Syrian govt will flat Homs or drop a load of chemicals. They calculate nobody will squawk ecause they are attending the Geneva conference II.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs