News / Middle East

Hezbollah Chief Confirms Syria Presence

Supporters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah watch a broadcast of his speech in Mashghara, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2013.Supporters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah watch a broadcast of his speech in Mashghara, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2013.
x
Supporters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah watch a broadcast of his speech in Mashghara, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2013.
Supporters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah watch a broadcast of his speech in Mashghara, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2013.
VOA News
The chief of Lebanon's Hezbollah says his group will not stand by while the neighboring government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is attacked.

Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech Saturday Hezbollah was fighting in Syria to protect Lebanon from the threat of radical Islamists. It was the first time Nasrallah has publicly confirmed Hezbollah's fighting presence in Syria.

The speech was given as Syrian troops and fighters from Lebanon-based Hezbollah were carrying out the heaviest barrage of gunfire yet in a week-long battle to re-take the strategic town of Qusair from rebel fighters.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday's violence killed 22 people.

Rebels are fighting to hold Qusair as a means of protecting their supply lines to Lebanon.

Opposition deadlocked

Meanwhile, in Istanbul, the Syrian opposition remains deadlocked on electing a new leadership and president. During three days of talks Western backers of the opposition are pushing for broader leadership, but attempts to weaken the power of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in the Syrian National Coalition have so far failed.

In Jordan Saturday, Senator John McCain called for Washington to arm some Syrian rebel groups. He also urged the Obama administration to back a no-fly zone in Syria to provide aid for citizens.

More than 80,000 people have been killed and several million displaced since the start of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad more than two years ago.

The State Department says involvement in Syria by Lebanese-based Hezbollah militants risks dragging Lebanon into a foreign war. Fighting this past week between backers and opponents of the Assad government killed 23 people in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli.

Russia and the United States have proposed opening a peace conference on Syria next month in Geneva. A senior U.S. State Department official confirmed to VOA that Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet Monday in Paris on the latest plans for the talks.

Kerry told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday on the sidelines of an African Union summit that the United States needs U.N. help to get things moving with Syria.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid