News / Middle East

Syrian Uprising Moves Closer to Capital

Hunkering down: a poster of Syria's president at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus, January 2012.
Hunkering down: a poster of Syria's president at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus, January 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +

Damascus has been spared much of the violence gripping Syria, although there are signs that the uprising is moving closer on the capital.

The body of a Syrian general is on its way to burial.  Chopin's Funeral March merges with trilling laments and chants of pro-government slogans.

Watch related video clip:

Officials say General Mohammed Abdul-Hamid al Awad was on his way to work this week when an "armed terrorist group" attacked him outside his Damascus home.

His funeral procession is attended by Arab League monitors.  Afterward, they are shown the bodies of at least six young men officials describe as soldiers killed in recent fighting.

The bodies of young men the government says are soldiers killed near Damascus, January 2012.
The bodies of young men the government says are soldiers killed near Damascus, January 2012.

A morgue official counts a total of 58 stab wounds to one body, many of them, he says, inflicted after the man died.

The post-mortem wounds raise questions, but many government accounts are rejected by the opposition as manipulated or fabricated.

Even without all the answers, the killing of a prominent military figure in the capital, once seemingly immune to the unrest, adds to fears following two suicide bombings in the past month.  

In some ways, Damascus appears normal.  Shops and restaurants are open, though financial sanctions have turned it into a cash-based system.  More telling are the checkpoints and sandbagged positions around the city, speaking to fears of further troubles. 

Amal, who gives just her first name, says the military is justified in its actions, in what she sees as a bid to maintain security. "People are killing each other because of sect, because of religion, because whatever it is.  So the military needs to go on the streets because this is the country's military," she said. "If somebody is wrong, they need to enforce law."

Despite ongoing security efforts, the government has not been able to quell the unrest in towns ringing the capital.  And in Zabadani, 40 kilometers away, opposition forces say they have reached a ceasefire with government troops.  If confirmed, it would be a rare concession by the state on the military strength of its opponents.

 

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
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.
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.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid