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

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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs