News / Middle East

Syrian Crackdown in Border Town Enters Second Day

Lebanese medics treat an injured Syrian man before taking him to a hospital after he crossed from the Syrian town of Talkalakh into the northern border area of Wadi Khaled, Lebanon, May 14, 2011
Lebanese medics treat an injured Syrian man before taking him to a hospital after he crossed from the Syrian town of Talkalakh into the northern border area of Wadi Khaled, Lebanon, May 14, 2011

Syrian government militia forces continued their siege of the town of Talkalakh on the Lebanese border for a second day Sunday, firing tank shells and rocket-propelled grenades into the besieged city. Hundreds of residents of the town fled into Lebanon Saturday and a number of casualties were reported.

Shelling in Syria

On the Lebanese border with Syria, gunfire and shelling could be heard inside Syrian territory, as witnesses described a second straight day of a government crackdown on the town of Talkalakh.

Lebanese security forces patrol an area in the north Lebanese town of Wadi Khaled on the border with Syria as Syria's unrest following anti-regime protests entered a third month, May 15, 2011
Lebanese security forces patrol an area in the north Lebanese town of Wadi Khaled on the border with Syria as Syria's unrest following anti-regime protests entered a third month, May 15, 2011

One man told al-Arabiya TV that bullets were “pouring down on the city like rain,” and that government snipers had blown out water tanks to make residents suffer.

The Syrian government says it is "trying to restore order" after alleged "Islamic fundamentalists" and "terrorists" attempted to set up an Islamic emirate in Talkalakh.  Syrian opposition sources said at least three people were killed in Talkalakh and one dead and one wounded soldier were taken to Lebanon.

Palestinian protests

Syrian government TV, meanwhile, broadcast live video of pro-Palestinian protesters gathering along Israel's borders with the Golan Heights and Lebanon Sunday, and announced that the Syrian Foreign Ministry was “condemning” Israel for what it called its “criminal behavior” for firing on protesters.

President Bashar al Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf warned Israel in a New York Times interview several days ago that it would have “no security” along the Golan Heights, so long as Syria was not secure. Both the EU and the US recently slapped sanctions on Makhlouf and 12 other prominent Syrians for the bitter crackdown on a number of Syrian towns and cities.

Scores of protesters waving candles and chanting slogans against the government marched in the streets of the Syrian town of Telbissa overnight, according to a video on Facebook. It was not possible to confirm the event, since foreign correspondents are not being allowed into Syria.

Tunisia

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s official news agency reports that the Tunisian army pushed back 200 Libyan soldiers that had crossed the border in the region of Tetouan in southern Tunisia. The agency claimed the Libyans were hoping to retake a border crossing farther north that was recently seized by Libyan rebels.

In the rebel-held western Libyan port city of Misrata, witnesses claim that fighting with loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi has ended and that the rebels now control all of the city.  Close to 1,000 people reportedly died during several months of a bitter and brutal siege of the city by Gadhafi forces.

In Britain, armed forces head General David Richards told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that NATO should increase the scope of its bombing raids inside Libya to end Colonel Gadhafi’s attacks on the opposition. He added that “more intense military action was needed” to prevent the nearly three-month old conflict from ending in a stalemate.

Yemen

In Yemen, hundreds of women protesters demonstrated on the island of Socotra, demanding that President Ali Abdallah Saleh resign. The women also vowed to take their protest to the presidential palace. Several students were also wounded in a protest in Mansoura, near the southern port city of Aden.

The head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif Zayani, met with President Ali Abdallah Saleh in the capital Sanaa Sunday, in a bid to jumpstart a GCC plan to resolve the current crisis. President Saleh initially said that he had accepted the plan, which calls for him to step down, before changing his mind.

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

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs