News / Middle East

Syrian Defectors Kill 7 Security Force Members in Revenge Attack

Image taken from amateur video shows burning cars after being attacked by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in Homs Syria, December 13, 2011.
Image taken from amateur video shows burning cars after being attacked by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in Homs Syria, December 13, 2011.

Rights activists say Syrian army defectors killed seven government security force members while ambushing a patrol following an army raid that cost 11 civilian lives earlier Tuesday.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says both incidents took place in Idlib province, a restive area that borders Turkey.  The observatory and other groups report that security forces and pro-government "shabiha" militiamen swept through villages and attacked infiltrators at the border, wounding dozens.

The Associated Press, quoting activists, reports a senior Syrian officer was killed in a retaliatory ambush by anti-regime fighters. Syrian state-run media also reported that border guards clashed with a group of 15 "terrorists" attempting to enter the country from Turkey, killing two of them.

About 7,500 Syrians have fled across the Turkish border to escape the brutal government crackdown.  Military defectors from the Free Syrian Army have found shelter among the refugees and often launch cross-border raids into Syria.

Up to eight more civilians were killed Tuesday in a separate incident in Idlib when Syrian troops fired on crowds attending funeral processions for those killed earlier.

On Monday, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said her office has received credible reports from a variety of sources indicating the Syrian death toll since unrest began in March exceeds 5,000 - a figure rejected by the Syrian U.N. ambassador as "incredible."

Pillay said the figure includes civilians, defectors and "those executed for refusing to shoot civilians." It does not include the hundreds of security and military forces the U.N. says are also thought to have been killed.

The U.S. deputy permanent representative to the U.N. Security Council, Rosemary DiCarlo, said the human rights crisis in Syria is a threat to international peace and security.  She said the U.N.'s estimate of the death toll in Syria has more than doubled in the past four months, and that it is "unconscionable" that the Security Council has not spoken out about the situation recently.

In October, China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution condemning the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday it is "immoral" for Western nations to accuse Moscow of blocking the Security Council's work, while at the same time refusing to pressure what he called the "armed extremist" parts of the Syrian opposition.

The U.N.'s Pillay said Monday that the state-sponsored violence in Syria should be examined by the International Criminal Court. "So it is based on the evidence and the widespread and systematic nature of the killings, the detentions and the acts of torture that I felt that these acts constituted crimes against humanity, and I recommended that there should be a referral to the International Criminal Court," she said.

Syria's uprising has turned increasingly violent in recent months, with defecting soldiers fighting back against the army and once-peaceful protesters taking up arms to protect themselves.

A general strike continued for a third day Tuesday in several regions across Syria as activists push for an end to Mr. Assad's rule through a campaign of civil disobedience.

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

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.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid