News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Launch New Raids

An image from video shows what Syrian anti-regime activists say is destruction and burnt vehicles in the village of Ibleen in northwestern Jabal Al-Zawiyah (region) after it was stormed by army troops. (AFP cannot independently verify the editorial conten
An image from video shows what Syrian anti-regime activists say is destruction and burnt vehicles in the village of Ibleen in northwestern Jabal Al-Zawiyah (region) after it was stormed by army troops. (AFP cannot independently verify the editorial conten

Syrian forces have raided a northwestern village as the government continues its crackdown on dissent.

Activists said there were reports of machine gun fire on Thursday after armored vehicles and jeeps stormed into the town of Ibleen.  The French news agency AFP quotes activists who say forces killed three military defectors during a raid on a house.

The military operation took place the same day Russia announced plans to mediate talks that could allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain in power, in spite of massive anti-government protests in Syria.

Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov said Thursday that he will meet with Syrian opposition figures in Moscow on Friday and with an aide to Assad on Monday.  

Margelov said he hoped to find a political solution to Syria's unrest.  He described Assad as a "well-educated" and "broad-minded" leader who has a chance to modernize his country.  Also, Russia and Syria have strong ties in their defense industries.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe met with his Russian counterpart and urged Russia to take a stronger stance against Syria.  He accused Damascus of committing "crimes against humanity."

The United Nations estimates 2,200 people have been killed since March after Assad launched the crackdown on dissent.

On Wednesday, activists said Syrian security forces killed at least 20 people during raids against anti-government protesters, mostly in the central Homs region.

The state-run SANA news agency said Thursday that eight law enforcement and security force members were killed by "armed terrorist groups" in Homs.  President Bashar al-Assad's government has blamed much of the deadly violence on armed gunmen and terrorists.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has urged Syria to carry out political reforms "before it is too late."  During a speech in Australia on Thursday, Ban said violence against Syrians had continued despite his repeated calls for President Assad to halt his forces'  "excessive and lethal" actions.

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

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