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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid