News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Kill More Protesters After Friday Prayers

An image taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian anti-government demonstrators marching in the coastal city of Latakia on August 12, 2011
AFP IS USING PICTURES FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES AS IT WAS NOT AUTHORISED TO COVER THIS EVENT, THEREFORE I
An image taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian anti-government demonstrators marching in the coastal city of Latakia on August 12, 2011 AFP IS USING PICTURES FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES AS IT WAS NOT AUTHORISED TO COVER THIS EVENT, THEREFORE I
Scott Bobb

Reports from Syria say at least 19 people have been killed as government troops fired on anti-government protesters in a half-dozen cities across the country. The demonstrations, following Friday prayers, come amid a week-long government crackdown.

Syrian anti-government activists Friday said protesters were killed in areas that include Aleppo, Homs, the suburbs of Damascus and in northwestern Syria near the border with Turkey.

Government security forces reportedly also fired on demonstrators following prayers in Hama and Deir el-Zor.

They were the latest incidents in a five month-long popular uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Human rights organizations say more than 1,700 people have been killed in the attacks.

The raids intensified this past week as the Syrian government sought to quell the growing dissent.

A Syria specialist with the social-activist group, Avaaz, Wissam Tarif, says his group is preparing to petition the United Nations to bring charges of crimes against humanity against the al-Assad government.

“We have documented different kinds of human rights violations, arbitrary detentions, torture, mass killings, [be]sieging cities and forced disappearances. Mass killings, [be] sieging cities and forced disappearances is a crime against humanity according to international criminal law," said Tarif.

He said his group has also documented nearly 3,000 disappearances and some 25,000 cases of arbitrary detention in the past five months.

The Syrian government says it is combating gangs of armed terrorists. Eyewitnesses say the victims have been mostly unarmed civilians.

A Syria expert with the London-based Chatham House, Nadim Shehadi, says the situation indicates a growing desperation on the part of the government.

“The regime has crossed a line and it has lost its power and its legitimacy," said Shehadi. "And it is very clear that there is no way it will go back to the same position it was in before this started. However, the messages that it receives from the international community are interpreted as asking Bashar al-Assad to stay in power, that they cannot see beyond the regime.”

He accused the al-Assad government of fomenting (encouraging) the violence in hopes of creating the impression that only it is capable of maintaining order and stability in Syria.

The U.S. government says Assad's government has lost legitimacy. But Washington has not yet called for him to step down.  Senior officials have said it was important for the international community to speak with one voice on Syria.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged countries to stop trading with Syria and buying products that include oil and gas. In a speech at the State Department, Friday, she also called on countries who have been supporting the Syrian government to "get on the right side of history."

Syrian dissidents say Damascus is using revenues from its petroleum exports to pay for the crackdown.

The European Union said it was considering additional sanctions.

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

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid