News / Middle East

At Least 30 Reported Killed in New Syrian Violence

Image from amateur video made available by Shaam News Network Jan. 16, 2012, purports to show Syrian security forces in Hama, Syria.  AP CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIAL.
Image from amateur video made available by Shaam News Network Jan. 16, 2012, purports to show Syrian security forces in Hama, Syria. AP CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIAL.

Violence has surged in Syria as Western members of the United Nations Security Council spar with Russia over how to stop the bloodshed from the 10-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian-based activist group Local Coordination Committees said Mr. Assad's security forces on Tuesday killed at least 30 people, 19 of them in the troubled central province of Homs. The group said eight civilians died when a minibus struck a roadside bomb planted by pro-government soldiers in northern Idlib province.

France, Britain and the U.S. are pushing for strong condemnation of Syria. Western diplomats say they cannot accept Russia's draft Security Council resolution that assigns equal blame for the violence to the government and opposition. Senior diplomats from the U.N. body were to meet Tuesday to discuss the revised Russian draft.

U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday condemned Syria's continued crackdown on protesters, calling the violence "unacceptable" and vowing to redouble international efforts to force Mr. Assad to step down.

Earlier, Syria rejected a Qatari proposal to send Arab troops to the country to stop the unrest, saying such a move would worsen the situation and open the door to foreign interference. The Syrian foreign ministry said Damascus will oppose any attempt to undermine its sovereignty and wants Arab nations to stop what it called a media campaign against Syria.

Last week, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani proposed deploying Arab troops in Syria, saying the move is needed to "stop the killing." He is the first Arab leader to put forth that idea. The Arab League is due to discuss the crisis in Syria on Saturday and Sunday, and is expected to discuss the future of its widely criticized observer mission in the country.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Tuesday Moscow will not support sending Arab peacekeepers to Syria. In an interview with the BBC, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaliy Churkin called the Qatari proposal a "distraction" and an "irritant."

The developments came a day after the rebel Free Syrian Army called on the U.N. to invoke Chapter 7 from its charter to take military action against Syria to end the killing of civilians. Chapter 7 allows U.N. forces to initiate force under certain conditions, not simply to act in self-defense.

Western powers have been pushing the Security Council to condemn the Syrian government for its violent suppression of the uprising and to impose sanctions on Damascus. Russia and China have blocked such measures.

Syria is Moscow's chief ally in the region and one of its biggest arms customers. A Russian-operated ship carrying ammunition allegedly docked in Syria last week. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said an arms embargo against Damascus is "overdue."

"Obviously we’d have very grave concern about arms flows into Syria from any source and we would certainly make that point very directly with any country that may be providing such arms," said Rice. "Unfortunately, there is not an arms embargo against Syria, which we certainly think is overdue, in part because as you well know, some members of the Council, including Russia, have indicated opposition to any form of sanction, even those that mirror that [which] the Arab League has already implemented."

Senior U.S. officials say Iran also is supplying weapons to aid Syria's crackdown in an initiative spearheaded by the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds force. The officials cited Quds chief Ghassem Soleimani's recent visit to Damascus as a concrete example of direct, high-level cooperation between Iran and Syria.

The United Nations says violence linked to the uprising has killed more than 5,400 people, including 400 in the last three weeks. Syria says "terrorists" have killed about 2,000 members of the security forces since the unrest began.

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

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid