News / Middle East

Syria Denounces UN Resolution as Death Toll Rises

Syria's Ambassador Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui (C) gestures during a Human Rights Council special session on the situation in Syria at the United Nations in Geneva, December 2, 2011.
Syria's Ambassador Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui (C) gestures during a Human Rights Council special session on the situation in Syria at the United Nations in Geneva, December 2, 2011.
Edward Yeranian

Violent clashes between Syrian government troops and rebel soldiers in Syria's northern Idlib Province Saturday have left a large number of casualties, at least 23 according to activists.

Witnesses say the battles have been growing in intensity in recent days, as more soldiers defect from regular army units.

Meanwhile, in Istanbul, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden added his voice to an international chorus demanding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down.

The fighting comes one day after the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to condemn Syria for “gross” and “systematic violations of human rights” for its bloody crackdown on a nine-month old popular uprising.

The U.N. body also agreed to appoint a special investigator to probe human rights abuses in Syria that could be linked to the government's cracdown on dissent.

On Saturday, Syria's state-run media accused the U.N. of ignoring documents provided by the government that it said clarified facts and the Syrian Foreign Ministry has accused the U.N. Human Rights Council of issuing a "politicized" resolution. 

In the Damascus suburb of Basrat al-Sham, a crowd of several thousand mourners chanted slogans against the regime as they buried a man allegedly shot during protests Friday. Anti government demonstrations reportedly took place in at least several dozen cities, despite the ongoing government crackdown.

In Istanbul,Turkey,  visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden praised Syria's neighbor Turkey for taking steps to protect the Syrian people against the wave of government repression.  He also joined with Turkish and other world leaders in calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"Regional issues from the brutal repression in Syria where Turkey, where we stand with Turkey and a growing chorus of nations in calling for President Assad to step aside. And I welcome the Human Rights Council's condemnation yesterday of the regime's violence."

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, notes that one of the chief difficulties in organizing U.S., U.N. and European efforts to help the Syrian people has been the opposition of Russia and several other world powers.

He says that Russia is trying to give the impression that it is still a power on the world stage, and also wants to defend its commercial and strategic interests in Syria against the West, which it believes misled it over Libya.

Abou Diab adds that Iran and its allies are also playing a key role in helping the Syrian regime to fight its own people.  He stresses that the Syrian opposition has been accusing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr militia of sending men to fight in Syria on the side of the government.



Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More