News

    Syrian Army Pounds Homs

    Shops and homes are seen after they were destroyed by Syrian government shelling in Rastan town in Homs province, central Syria, March 20, 2012.
    Shops and homes are seen after they were destroyed by Syrian government shelling in Rastan town in Homs province, central Syria, March 20, 2012.

    Activists say Syrian forces resumed heavy shelling of the already battered city of Homs on Saturday, as international envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Russia to discuss efforts to mediate an end to the crisis in Syria.

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least three people were killed in the Khaldiyeh district of Homs and nearby town of Qusair following shelling that began early Saturday.  Homs has seen some of the heaviest fighting in Syria's year-long uprising.

    Clashes were also reported in Idlib province bordering Turkey, where the rights group says at least one person was killed.

    Syria Peace Plan

    The U.N. Security Council approved U.N.-Arab League envoy on Syria Kofi Annan's proposed peace plan that includes:

    • An immediate cease-fire and an end to all human rights violations
    • A two-hour per day halt in fighting for humanitarian aid delivery
    • Inclusive Syrian-led political talks to address "legitimate aspirations and concerns" of the Syrian people

    Saturday's violence comes as joint U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Moscow in an effort to convince Russia to support international calls for a cease-fire and open political dialogue in Syria.  Russia and China have repeatedly blocked Security Council action against Syria since the deadly crackdowns on protests erupted. However, the two nations did support a Security Council resolution in recent days endorsing Annan's six-point plan for peace.

    Annan will meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday, and will then travel to Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with Chinese officials for similar discussions.

    On Friday, the European Union imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's British-born wife and several other members of his family and administration.

    The sanctions on Mrs. Assad came after leaked emails showed she allegedly went on lavish shopping sprees while Syria descended into violence. British officials say the EU travel ban can not stop the Syrian first lady from traveling to Britain if she has retained her citizenship.

    Meanwhile, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva sharply condemned Syria's "escalating violence", calling for an extension of a probe into the Syrian government's alleged abuses in the year of unrest.  The 47-member body voted 41 to three in favor of an EU-sponsored resolution backed by the United States and Arab countries. China, Russia and Cuba voted against the measure.

    In Washington, the Obama administration said it will allow Syrians in the country to remain, even after their visas have expired, and not deport those who are in the U.S. illegally.

    Reported deaths in violence across Syria

    The United Nations says at least 8,000 people have been killed in the Assad government's violent crackdown on the revolt, which began with peaceful protests and became increasingly militarized as army defectors attacked pro-Assad troops who assaulted civilians.

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

    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.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ADEL ALSHEAR
    March 25, 2012 7:11 AM
    THIS IS HAVE SHALL DO TO DO WITH GROUP ALAKHWAN ALMSLMWN . THIS IS THE HAVE SHALL DO TO DO WITH HSN ALBNA . THIS IS HAVE SHALL DO TO DO WITH GROUP BROTHE RHOOD GROUP HSN ALBNA .

    by: C Ritchie
    March 24, 2012 11:48 PM
    Assad is a monster. So was Saddam Hussein. And Gaddafi, The world is becoming increasingly intolerant of these vicious, selfish regimes. May their dreadful leaders all suffer a similar fate. No one, apart from their rabid supporters, wants this type of person to have power.

    by: Jacki
    March 24, 2012 11:26 PM
    The Assad family are more trusted that the mob trying to overthrow him. They are a bunch of extremists, whom the majority of Syrians do NOT support. Syrians living in Syria actually support President Assad, and the fact remains that the "New Syrian Army" has very little backing with syrians, as syrians know they are EXtremists

    by: jah son
    March 24, 2012 6:47 AM
    there will always be voilence in the middle east untill all women are free and all arab/moslem countries adapt a democracy instead of one man autrocratic rule, stop allowing the rulers to have all the wealth and give it to their sons and daughters and have large harems and lusch villas while the people around them starve and bowdown to worship muhamid um-teen times a day like robots.

    by: Arash Wafa
    March 24, 2012 6:06 AM
    I appreciate the government of Syria to attack Rebel
    because these Rebels are a pillars to USA

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora