News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Disperse Food Protest with Gunfire

A view of a street with damaged buildings in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, July 9, 2013.
A view of a street with damaged buildings in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, July 9, 2013.
Reuters
Syrian rebels fired into the air to disperse a protest by civilians in a rebel-held district of Aleppo against a blockade preventing food and medicine reaching government-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo, residents said on Wednesday.
 
Rebel fighters have stopped supplies entering western Aleppo for weeks. The tactic is aimed at weakening the supply routes of President Bashar al-Assad's forces but thousands of civilians are now left hungry, residents say.
 
Video footage posted on the Internet on Tuesday showed dozens of civilians in the rebel-held neighborhood of Bustan al-Qasr protesting at a rebel checkpoint which prevents supplies from entering the western part of the city, home to 2 million people and held by the army.
 
Although insurgents and the army control different parts of the country, civilians are normally allowed to cross freely to shop or meet family members and friends.
 
The footage, posted by the opposition Bustan al-Qasr Information Office, showed men at the protest chanting, “the people want an end to the blockade.” A rebel fighter brandishes a pistol and then a gunshot is heard as the video ends.
 
An opposition activist group called the Aleppo Martyrs said rebels fired at the protesters, killing one person and wounding several others. But a resident at the protest said the man was killed prior to the protest by army sniper fire as he tried the cross between rebel and government-held territory.
 
Reuters was not able to confirm the report due to media and security restrictions in Syria.
 
More than 100,000 people have died in Syria's two-year conflict. It started because Assad's force fired live ammunition against pro-democracy protests, leading to an armed revolt.
 
Rebels who now control many parts of the country are blamed for similar abuses by rights groups, including torture and harsh punishments imposed by religious courts.
 
A sign displayed by rebels at the Bustan al-Qasr checkpoint reads: “Food, medicine, oil, babies' products, milk, vegetables, meat, bread: completely forbidden [from crossing].”
 
Residents in western Aleppo say food prices have jumped to more than ten times their original level and basics such as bread and flour have become harder to find.
 
Civilians say they are stockpiling food, such as bulgur wheat and rice, which are still regularly available. They say some perishable vegetables are still being sold in markets.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid