News / Middle East

Arab Leaders Call on Assad to Step Down

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (L) welcomes new Chief of General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, before a meeting in Damascus, July 22, 2012.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (L) welcomes new Chief of General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, before a meeting in Damascus, July 22, 2012.
VOA News

Arab leaders are calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, promising him safe passage if he leaves the country.

 

Arab League ministers held an emergency meeting on Syria in Doha Sunday. They said they regret that all Arab and international efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria have failed.

 

They said Assad should immediately give up power and that the Kofi Annan peace plan should now focus on a transitional government. The ministers also pledged $100 million to help Syrian refugees. They gave no details about where President Assad would settle if he stepped down.

 

In Syria, activists say security forces attacked rebels in the capital, Damascus, with helicopters and tanks, while rebels launched an offensive against the government in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

 

The activists say government troops used helicopter and tank fire to try to drive rebels out of the Damascus neighborhoods. Syrian state news agency SANA denied that helicopters were deployed. It insisted the capital was normal and said security forces chased what it called "terrorist" remnants from the streets. 

 

Iraqi officials say Syrian forces have retaken control of one of two border crossings that the rebels seized last week, while Turkey says rebels took over another border crossing with Syria on Sunday.

 

Aleppo had been largely untouched by the 16-month uprising against President Assad. It is home to Syrian elites and merchants who have benefited from his authoritarian rule.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's 3-day Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 23, 2012 3:22 PM
Arab League? Does that name exist, or is there still an organization existing by that name? The last time that name surfaced was when a fracas arose that named Israel on one part. In all the troubles in Arab lands the so-called league has been a friendly woman-trained dog - just friendly even to lick the spilled blood of Syrian civil community. What can it do but continue to cry wolf. Assad has been one of them, so he knows that the body is useless and can do nothing, not even the safe haven they are promising him. Until the league includes Israel - after all a good percentage of Arabs live in Israel - the league cannot be a true League, and cannot live up to any billing except exist by name only.


by: Roman from: Russia
July 23, 2012 7:47 AM
Democracy is a very interesting thing. If country had resoures or good strategic situation then always some countries (especcialy US) want to bring democracy to their people, but when we take poor African country for example Somali or Ruanda, then people do not need in democracy. Do you know about massacre in Ruanda in 1994 when during 100 days were killed more 1 000 000.00 people. Conclision ia simple no oil and gas - no democracy. And what Siria 2009 - two milions foreign tourists, 2012 - two milions refuges. Viva American democracy!!!


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 22, 2012 11:13 PM
Were there any dictators who had agreed on stepping down the position accepting the calling on from foreign countries? Is he so foolish enough to believe guarantee of sueurity after resignation offered by Arab leaders?


by: Anonymous
July 22, 2012 9:58 PM
Hey Assad , here's your ticket. You either leave town and survive, or you stick around and your own people will kill you. What will it be? The majority of your country wants you hung for crimes.

Take the ticket and get the hell out of town, if you are stupid enough to stay, which I think you are is a good thing too. Because at least if you stay when the FSA finally reaches you, justice will be served. However if you take the ticket you will just be a regular proven coward, without justice being served.


by: Romildo Caldas from: Brazil
July 22, 2012 5:47 PM
I am sure Syrian People with help or not, will reach the proposed goals: Democracy and Freedom. It is the logical track of History.


by: American from: USA
July 22, 2012 5:15 PM
LONG LIVE ASSAD AND THE BA'ATHIST PARTY!


by: Monika from: Lebanon
July 22, 2012 1:21 PM
Oh... isn't it wonderful...??? now, how can we blame it on the US or Israel???


by: Anonymous
July 22, 2012 12:09 PM
The world really doesn't have a way to make US and its Europian followers to change their double standards: Pro-US = "rebels" or "anti-government organizations"; Anti-US = "terrorists".


by: Michael from: USA
July 22, 2012 9:43 AM
The Syrian government will probably be depleted from lack of energy. The rebel forces might establish a different government. Prayers from around the world will help Syrian leaders to turn toward proper care of the nation. The 30,000 Syrians can leave Lebanon to return to Syria. Then, later the country could be rebuilt by the best of builders

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid