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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid