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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid