News / Middle East

Assad Vows to Rid Syria of 'Terrorists;' Violence Mounts

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, August 7, 2012.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, August 7, 2012.
VOA News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to purge his country of what he called "terrorists," as security forces continue to fight rebels who have tried to seize control of parts of Aleppo and Damascus.

Syrian state-run media quoted Mr. Assad Tuesday as saying he would show no leniency towards "terrorists."  He met with Iran's visiting national security council secretary, Saeed Jalili.  

Syrian state television showed the meeting, the first time Mr. Assad has appeared on television in two weeks.

Jalili pledged continued Iranian support to Syria, which he said was part of an "axis of resistance" against foreign opponents.

Earlier Tuesday, Iran said it was holding the United States responsible for the lives of 48 Iranians who were kidnapped by Syrian rebels in Damascus on Saturday.

State-run media say the Foreign Ministry told the Swiss envoy in Tehran that it expects the U.S. to use its influence to secure the Iranians' release without any preconditions.

Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran because Washington and Tehran do not have diplomatic relations. The U.S. has said in the past it is only providing non-lethal assistance to Syrian rebels.

Iran says the 48 abducted were religious pilgrims, but the rebel Free Syrian Army described them as Iranian Revolutionary Guards on a "reconnaissance mission."

Activists say dozens of people were killed in anti-government-related unrest across Syria on Tuesday. 

Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
x
Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is time for world powers to begin planning for what will happen after Mr. Assad's regime falls.  She commented during a Tuesday appearance with South Africa's foreign minister in Pretoria.

"The intensity of the fighting in Aleppo, the defections, really point out how imperative it is that we come together and work toward a good transition plan," said Clinton.

Clinton said she intended to discuss the issue with Turkish officials during her visit to Istanbul on Saturday.

Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, visited Turkey on Tuesday to discuss the Syrian crisis and the abducted Iranians with counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.  Salehi also has asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for help in securing the kidnapped Iranians' freedom.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that more than 1,300 Syrians had crossed the border into Turkey over the past day, raising the total number of Syrian refugees there to nearly 48,000.

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

  • A truck catches flames after it was hit by rockets fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter plane during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A general view shows a street after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, in Salah Edinne district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an anti-aircraft gun as a Syrian Air Force fighter bomber fires rockets during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • In this photo taken on guided government tour, Syrian army forces are seen at al-Sijen district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
  • A Syrian man reacts after the funeral of 29 year-old Free Syrian Army fighter, Husain Al-Ali, who was killed during clashes in Aleppo, in the cemetery in town of Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, August 9, 2012.
  • Men search for bodies under rubble of a house destroyed by a Syrian Air force air strike, in Tel Rafat, about 37 kilometers north of Aleppo, Syria, August 8, 2012.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, Syrians attend the funeral procession of a man killed in Idlib province, August 7, 2012.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after a Syrian Army tank shell exploded in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 5, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters fire their rifles during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighter holds a RPG launcher during clashes with Syrian Army in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • This image map provides an overview of the activity seen in Aleppo from July 23, 2012 to August 1, 2012 (base image collected on July 29, 2012).
  • More than 600 probable artillery impact craters, represented here with yellow dots, were identified in Anadan, in the vicinity of Aleppo.
  • In this August 5, 2012 photograph, Syrians pass by a destroyed house in town of Atareb outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.
  • Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighborhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
  • Syrian women mourn the loss of loved ones in Aleppo fighting, August 5, 2012.


 

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
    Next 
by: End_Wage_Slavery from: Belly of the Beast
August 15, 2012 5:03 PM
Hopefully when they overthrow the Assad regime they make this a real, thoroughgoing revolution instead of simply regime change. In other words they need to scrap current notions of bourgeois property relations and move toward complete and direct worker ownership of the businesses. Nothing less than worker ownership will guarantee that the workers of Syria will not be exploited. Anything less than that and it isn't a real revolution, just a change of dictators.

by: Robert George from: Dubai
August 09, 2012 2:45 AM
Iran, the only supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the region, seems to have admitted its complicity. For years Iran has been meddling with nations in the Middle East with the sole objective of establishing its hegemony over the entire region and effectively countering the West.

by: rod from: usa
August 08, 2012 9:08 PM
The USA has been planning and influencing the Arab spring and all that has happened since how else do you think these ordinary people can over take and army of high powered weapons and war planes, attack helicopters missiles and so on yea right regular people can bet all the armies in the middle east, without help from the U.S. come on people

by: Battle0360
August 08, 2012 4:24 PM
I aggree with assad on this one he should countinue to try to take syria back these are terriosts that are trying to take over syria these arent peaceful protestors these are violent extremists they excuted 4 half naked men in there underwear for being pro assad resigme members and shot them full of hundreds of rounds of akm ammunition also global extremists are comeing fight in syria and a few of them actually fought against the us military and nato in iraq they call the rebels there brothers that theyve come to help out and also theres signs of alquada with these rebels trying to take over syria that place will be like libya if assads resigme falls libya now sucks every since those people took over libya and syria will to if assads resigme collaspes there iran will prob be next if assad resigme falls...

by: HUANG ZHOU from: China
August 08, 2012 12:17 PM
Stiring up hatred and violence between sects leading to the civil war in Syria and then blaming that war on Syrian president is the dirty work of Clinton and Obama. They are the son and daughter of the bitch.

by: Anonymous
August 08, 2012 11:53 AM
A few thousand civillians and FSA members need to group up and storm Assads palace, so the public can deal with Assad one on one.

by: Anonymous
August 08, 2012 11:48 AM
Terrorists? You mean the civillians of Syria? What is Assad going to do? Kill his entire population? Labelling the civillian population as terrorists is disgusting. Assad and his dad have been terrorising their population for a number of years. If anyone is a terrorist here, it is Assad, and the entire world knows it. Quit the BS talk Assad, you best be preparing for your capture, say your prayers.

by: beancube
August 08, 2012 12:20 AM
If Assad steps down, every single individual of the Syria population will turn to fight those terrorists, but Assad wants himself to be the biggest threat to the Syrian civilian population. Syrians knew that long time ago.

by: Wayne from: Olympia WA
August 07, 2012 11:48 PM
But will anyone be left alive in Syria when Assad has cleansed all the "Terrrorists?

by: Mr. Jason Alan Ward from: WGC, England
August 07, 2012 8:55 PM
What kind of religious precept requires it's adherent pilgrims to visit a civil war zone ?
I'll tell you...
Suicide Pilgrims. Just a variation on suicide bombers, but with less risk, and a crafty effort to both use religion in an attempt to rile other Muslims, and inculcate the US.
Just how low can these people get ?
Comments page of 3
    Next 

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