News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Attack Demonstrators Near Turkish Border

In this photo taken during a government-organized visit for media, Syrian army soldiers ride on their military trucks as they enter the villages near the town of Jisr al-Shughour, north of Damascus, June 10, 2011
In this photo taken during a government-organized visit for media, Syrian army soldiers ride on their military trucks as they enter the villages near the town of Jisr al-Shughour, north of Damascus, June 10, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Mourners across Syria laid to rest the bodies of dozens of people killed when government forces fired on anti-government demonstrators, and military units are continuing their crackdown against the town of Jisr al-Shughour, near the Turkish border. In Yemen, officials say at least 30 government soldiers and suspected militants have been killed in fighting in southern Abyan Province.  

Witnesses in northern Syria say government attack helicopters are being used to strafe targets in several besieged towns.  Videos on Facebook show the helicopters firing on towns with what residents say is large-caliber ammunition.

Several witnesses told Al Jazeera TV the helicopters “fired indiscriminately on groups of refugees from the air.”

Arab satellite channels also broadcast videos of several army officers announcing that they had quit in order to defend unarmed civilians in towns that have come under government attack.  Witnesses report that rebel officers have taken up positions inside the town of Jisr al-Shughour, under assault by government tanks.

Watch a related TV report by Henry Ridgwell:


Much of Jisr al-Shughour appears to be deserted. Residents fled through fields into neighboring Turkey, and several witnesses said Syrian troops set fire to fields and fired on fleeing residents. Turkey has set up tents on its side of the border for more than 4,000 refugees.

Syrian government TV's version of events says “terrorist gangs” had taken control of Jisr al-Shughour, harming civilians and stealing food supplies.  The state-run broadcaster said the Syrian Army moved in “to bring bread and restore security,” and that people in the region welcomed the troops "with open arms.”

State TV reported that a group of Lebanese journalists escorted by Syrian government officials came under fire on the outskirts of Jisr al-Shughour.  Most foreign correspondents are not being allowed into Syria and it is difficult to confirm developments on the ground.

Hundreds of mourners chanted slogans against the government Saturday in the Damascus suburb of Qaboun for the funeral of slain protester Ali Wafiq Ramadan - one of at least 32 protesters reported killed during demonstrations across the country on Friday.

Al Arabiya TV reported that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem sent a message to the U.N. demanding that the Security Council abstain from “interfering in Syrian internal affairs.”  The foreign minister also warned that any international condemnation of Damascus would “encourage extremists and terrorists.”

The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has complained that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is refusing to accept his telephone calls, with underlings demanding to know the reason for Mr. Ban's call before putting him through.

Yemeni army soldiers, check a car, at a checkpoint in Sana'a, June 11, 2011
Yemeni army soldiers, check a car, at a checkpoint in Sana'a, June 11, 2011

In Yemen, Deputy Information Minister Abou Janadi insisted that Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi was in charge of the country in the absence of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who left for Saudi Arabia last week after suffering serious injuries in a rocket attack.  The spokesman disputed reports that Mr. Saleh’s son, Ahmed, either had seized power or would move to do so.

Reports from Saudi Arabia say President Saleh is in serious condition in a hospital there, recuperating from surgery to remove shrapnel from his wounds that had affected his breathing.

Clashes between government forces and al-Qaida rebels in the Yemeni coastal town of Zinjibar and another area nearby left 21 militants dead Saturday.  Nine soldiers also were killed according to Yemen’s defense ministry.  Al-Qaida militants seized control of Zinjibar last month.

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

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid