News / Middle East

Six Dead in Syria, Government Shelling Intensifies

A Syrian government military vehicle is seen in Talbiseh near Homs, Syria, May 22, 2012.
A Syrian government military vehicle is seen in Talbiseh near Homs, Syria, May 22, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Activists say Syrian government forces have pounded targets in the opposition stronghold of Rastan, and at least six people have been killed elsewhere, during violence related to the country's anti-government unrest.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Rastan came under intense shelling early Wednesday as government forces tried to push rebels from the town.

The Britain-based group also said an explosion near Damascus killed three people.

Watch unverified video of shelling in Rastan
Video of government shelling in Rastan, Syriai
|| 0:00:00
X
May 23, 2012 2:03 PM
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says intense government shelling took place early Wednesday in Rastan, Syria.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's foreign minister said 11 male Lebanese pilgrims who were kidnapped while traveling through Syria this week will be freed soon. Adnan Mansour said Wednesday that negotiations for their release were ongoing, but he did not disclose who is holding the men.

On Tuesday, gunmen stopped a bus carrying Lebanese Shi'ites traveling through Syria after visiting shrines in Iraq. The gunmen freed several dozen women who were on the bus.

Relatives greeted the women late Tuesday as they arrived at a Beirut airport.

One woman told the Reuters news agency the captors claimed they were part of the opposition Free Syrian Army. Members of the Free Syrian Army denied the group was responsible for the incident.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Wednesday that the "tangible threat" of violence in Syria spilling into Lebanon could "end very badly." He blamed the violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites there on "artificial" agitators.

U.N. monitors in Syria continue efforts to monitor a fragile cease-fire brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan in April. U.N. officials estimate that more than 10,000 people have been killed since Syria's anti-government unrest erupted more than a year ago.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid