News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Kill 5 During Funeral of Kurdish Leader

Syrian Kurdish leaders are accusing government security forces of firing on mourners during the funeral of a prominent Kurdish party leader Saturday in the northern town of Qamishli. At least five mourners were killed and three others wounded after shooting broke out during the funeral procession. This comes a day after opposition activists say 20 people were killed during demonstrations across Syria.

Crowds of about 50,000 mourners packed a central boulevard of Qamishli Saturday to protest the killing of popular political leader Mashaal Tammo. Witnesses claim Syrian security forces opened fire on the crowd at several points, causing casualties.  

A son of the slain Kurdish leader spoke to Al Jazeera TV  and accused “pro-government thugs” of the assassination. The official Syrian news agency SANA blamed what it called “armed terrorists” for the crime.

Anti-government protesters also toppled a giant statue of the late Syrian strongman Hafez al-Assad, father of President Bashar al- Assad. A commentator on Syrian TV called the event an “affront to everything sacred,” saying the late president was “like a father or grandfather to all Syrians.”

Protests engulfed a number of towns in Syria Saturday following numerous demonstrations on Friday.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, notes that the Syrian government has until now deliberately avoided using violence against the Kurds during the national uprising which began last March. The killing of Tammo, he argues, could signal a harsher stance:

He says that the Syrian government has crossed certain red lines if it did in fact kill Tammo or fire on funeral-goers, and this is also causing a strong Kurdish backlash. Until now, he adds, Kurdish participation in the Syrian uprising has been timid, and Kurdish leaders have avoided provoking the regime. But, he insists, Mashaal Tammo represented the aspirations of many Syrian Kurds, so his death is prompting an overt rebellion.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition leader Souheir Atassi, in a video on an opposition website, insisted that the formation of the new opposition National Council in Istanbul has brought the fall of the government closer:

Arab satellite channels also reported that Syrian opposition leaders were meeting over the weekend in Cairo to elect more representatives to the new opposition council.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid