News / Middle East

Syrian Troops, Tanks Ease Grip on Defiant Border Town

Syrian army soldiers reinforce the village of Arida near Talkalakh opposite the Lebanon-Syria border,  May 19, 2011
Syrian army soldiers reinforce the village of Arida near Talkalakh opposite the Lebanon-Syria border, May 19, 2011

Witnesses say Syrian troops and tanks have started pulling out of a town near the Lebanese border, one of the latest enclaves to join in a two-month old anti-government uprising.

The witnesses said armored vehicles began leaving Talkalakh Thursday, along with buses filled with troops.

Syrian forces first moved into Talkalakh and the nearby village of Arida Saturday after pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets in defiance of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian rights groups say security forces have killed at least 27 people since the start of the crackdown on Talkalakh. The sounds of gunfire and shelling continued to ring out Thursday, right up until the withdrawal began.

Also Thursday, Syria denounced the latest U.S. sanctions, dismissing them as an effort to serve "Israeli interests."

A statement published by the state news agency (SANA) also said the sanctions will not affect Syria's determination to achieve "comprehensive" reforms.

The United States imposed sanctions on Assad and six of his aides Wednesday, saying it is holding them personally accountable for deadly attacks by Syrian security forces on opposition protesters. Washington also called on the Syrian president to lead a transition to democracy or leave power.

The sanctions include a freeze on U.S.-based assets of President Assad and the other officials and a ban on American citizens and companies from doing business with them. It is not clear what assets will be blocked. The European Union has said it is considering toughening its own sanctions on Syria to include measures against Assad.

Syrian rights activists say more than 850 civilians have been killed across the country since mid-March, when protesters began calling for democratic reforms and Assad's ouster. Authorities have arrested at least 7,000 people as part of the crackdown.

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

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

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid