News / Middle East

Syria Peace Conference Likely Off Until July

A member of forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad erects a Syrian flag atop of a gate in Qusair, June 5, 2013.
A member of forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad erects a Syrian flag atop of a gate in Qusair, June 5, 2013.
VOA News
The United Nations special representative for Syria says an international peace conference to end the civil war likely will not take place until July because the two sides in the conflict are unprepared to commit to a diplomatic solution.

Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday he will chair a second round of preparatory talks on June 25, after Russian, U.S. and United Nations officials meeting in Geneva Wednesday failed to resolve questions about the proposed peace negotiations.

The announcement came after Syrian government forces seized control of the strategic border town of Qusair after a three-week offensive, vowing to "crush" the rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

The army said Wednesday the development is a "clear message" to all those opposing Syria, while outgunned rebels confirmed their withdrawal from Qusair, which they had held for more than a year.

Abu Rami, an opposition activist in nearby Homs, said "emergency evacuations" were needed from Qusair and called for international aid agencies to move in urgently.

"One-thousand casualties - including civilians and members of [the Free Syrian Army] - in addition to 20,000 people - including families, women, children and elderly - are trapped in al-Qusair," he said.

Rami accused pro-government forces of indiscriminately using air power, mortars and rocket fire against civilians to force the rebel withdrawal.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Qusair is on a key highway linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, to the Mediterranean coast, and is close to rebel smuggling routes along the Lebanese border.

Syrian forces were aided by hundreds of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in the offensive.

With Hezbollah directly involved in the fight, international powers have raised concerns about the spread of the Syrian conflict. Last week, the U.N. Human Rights Council approved a resolution condemning Mr. Assad's government for using "foreign fighters" in Qusair.

  • Smoke rises from a fire as a result of fighting in the the Syrian village of Quneitra near the border with Israel, as seen from an observatory near the Quneitra crossing, June 6, 2013.
  • Soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stand on a damaged street full of debris in Qusair, June 6, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC shows a poster of late Syrian President Hafez Assad on a garbage truck, in Aleppo, Syria, June 6, 2013.
  • Pro-government fighters and tanks in Qusair, after the Syrian army took control of the city from rebel fighters, June 5, 2013.
  • Homemade weapons left by Syrian rebels are pictured, after the army seized control of the city of Qusair and the surrounding region in Syria's central Homs province.
  • Syrian army soldiers with their weapons in the city of Qusair, June 5, 2013.
  • Supporters of Hezbollah distribute sweets as they celebrate after the Syrian army took control of Qusair with Hezbollah's support from rebel fighters, in the Shi'ite town of Hermel, Lebanon, June 5, 2013.
  • In Raqqa province, a boy lights candles for a sit-in in solidarity with those in Homs, June 4, 2013.
  • Syrian rebels prepare to fire locally made rockets in Idlib, northern Syria, June 4, 2013.
  • A handout picture released by the Shaam News Network shows rebel fighters manning an anti-aricraft gun near Hama, Syria, June 4, 2013.
  • Syrian refugee children attend class at a new school at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria, June 4, 2013.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
June 05, 2013 4:45 PM
The top priorities are the delivery of humanitarian aid to trapped civilians and evacuation of wounded. Both the US and Russia need to bring pressure on their respective groups to ensure these activities can take place. Unfortunately, on their own, neither side is prepared to ensure these two activities can take place in a secure environment.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
June 05, 2013 9:39 AM
This is a great opportunity to severely bleed Hezbollah in asymmetrical warfare by our good friends in the Syrian rebellion. It doesn't take a blind man to see that Hezbollah lines are clearly overstretched into Syria proper.

One should never pass up a chance to sock it to these Iranian paid gangsters.this is an easy gimme. take the gimme.(opportunities like this don't come around that often)


by: Anonymous
June 05, 2013 5:27 AM
Anyone in opposition of Bashar al Assad is referred to as terrorists. But yet Bashar has killed more innocent civilians and opposition than anyone. He has destroyed the entire country and has tried terrorizing a nation to like him. News for Bashar, it isn't working, most of your country want you held accountable for the destruction and murder of thousands, affecting millions and millions of people. Once Bashar faces his crimes by the New Syria, then the Syrians will be happy along with billions around the globe.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid