News / Middle East

More Syrians Flee to Turkey After Troops Retake Northern Town

Syrian refugees carry food supplies donated by Turkish villagers across the border to fellow Syrians still stuck in Syria, near the village of Guvecci, Turkey, on the border with Syria, June 13, 2011
Syrian refugees carry food supplies donated by Turkish villagers across the border to fellow Syrians still stuck in Syria, near the village of Guvecci, Turkey, on the border with Syria, June 13, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

More Syrians fled to refugee camps in Turkey Monday after Syrian military forces took control of the rebellious northern town of Jisr al-Shughour. Activists say about 7,000 Syrians have sought sanctuary across the Turkish border.

Syrian government TV showed images of burned-out cars and buildings in Jisr al-Shughour Monday, claiming that army troops captured the town from “armed gangs” and were welcomed by residents with open arms. The state TV showed old women kissing the newly arrived soldiers on their cheeks.  

Town residents who fled to nearby Turkey, however, told a different story. They say government troops destroyed many of their houses, burned fields of wheat, and killed their cattle. Witnesses say the Army’s Fourth Brigade under President Bashar al-Assad’s brother, Maher, led the fight to retake the town.  

Dissident soldiers who said they were protecting civilians in Jisr al-Shughour appear to have fled before the army’s arrival. Syrian state TV said one soldier and two armed men were killed as government forces moved in early Sunday, backed by tanks and helicopters.  

The town had been under a tightening noose for several days, after the government accused armed gangs of killing security personnel there.

Syrian opposition activists say that 1,300 civilians have been killed nationwide in the government crackdown which began in March against protesters demanding political reform and the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. 

In Libya, rebel forces claim to have gained ground, despite heavy artillery barrages, on the outskirts of the port city of Misrata. Al-Jazeera television also showed footage of fighting in the Western Mountains, claiming that the rebels now control the towns of Zintan and Yafran.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim denied rebel claims Sunday that they had taken parts of the oil port of Zawiya, 25 kilometers from the capital Tripoli. A rebel victory in Zawiya would cut the coastal road between Tripoli and the Tunisian border, a key supply route.  

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met rebel leaders in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi and announced that Germany now recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council as the “sole and legitimate representative” of the Libyan people.

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

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid