News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Kill 25; Government Accused of Targeting Doctors

Syrians living in Jordan hold Syrian and the Kingdom of Libya flags shout slogans against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a protest outside the United Nations office in Amman October 15, 2011.
Syrians living in Jordan hold Syrian and the Kingdom of Libya flags shout slogans against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a protest outside the United Nations office in Amman October 15, 2011.

Syrian security forces killed at least 25 people Monday when they attacked the opposition stronghold of Homs, while activists accused the government of intensifying its persecution of doctors who treat wounded protesters.

Residents and activists say tanks firing heavy machine guns swept into Sunni Muslim districts of Homs, where large protests demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad have taken place regularly.

Monday's clashes followed the deployment of loyalist militiamen into Sunni districts, fanning tension between the city's Sunni majority and members of Mr. Assad's minority Alawite sect.

Army deserters helping local inhabitants defend their neighborhoods are said to have killed five government troops in the clashes. Battles between soldiers and defectors have been increasing in the province, as authorities press a harsh crackdown on political opposition to Mr. Assad.

In Switzerland Monday, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon urged the Syrian president to end the killing of civilians and accept an international inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses. The U.N. says more than 3,000 people have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests began seven months ago.

The Local Coordination Committees, a major Syrian activist network that helps organize the protests, said it has documented the arrests of 25 doctors from private clinics and hospitals in the past few weeks.

The group said 250 doctors and pharmacists have been detained since the uprising began.

Last month, New York-based Human Rights Watch said Syrian security forces "forcibly removed" patients from a hospital and prevented doctors from reaching the wounded during a military siege in Homs. The group cited testimony from witnesses, including doctors.

The Arab League said Sunday it would bring together Syria's government and opposition groups in an attempt to end the violence. The league's secretary-general, Nabil Elaraby, said the group plans to start the dialogue within 15 days.

Some league members sought to suspend Syria's membership in the pan-Arab organization, but deep divisions among the group's 22 members prevented passage of the proposal.

The Arab League suspended Libya earlier this year after then-leader Moammar Gadhafi began a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters. The league later reinstated Libya under the country's new leadership.

In Syria Sunday, activists said security forces in the east opened fire on mourners as about 7,000 people attending the funeral of a slain activist with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They also said government forces continued arrests near the capital, Damascus.

Syrian authorities have blamed much of the country's violence on gunmen or what they call terrorist groups.

 

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

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid