News / Middle East

Syrian Troops Pound Rebel Strongholds

This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions in the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, June 11, 2012.This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions in the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, June 11, 2012.
x
This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions in the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, June 11, 2012.
This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions in the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, June 11, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Edward Yeranian
CAIRO - Syrian government forces continued their heavy shelling of the flashpoint cities of Homs and Deir el-Zor, amid reports of more intense fighting in the region of Latakia. The new head of the Syrian opposition, meanwhile, is urging government officials to defect.

Witnesses say troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad pounded the flashpoint city of Homs Monday with field artillery, rockets and mortars.

International mediator Kofi Annan voiced concern on Monday over shelling in Homs and reports of similar attacks on the town of al-Haffa in Latakia.  A spokesman for Mr. Annan said there are indications that many people are trapped in these towns.

Syrian government forces also continued to shell parts of the desert town of Deir el-Zor and its outskirts.  Heavy fighting was reported in at least four nearby towns.

A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army says that a group of government soldiers at the Ghantu rocket base near Homs defected, taking munitions and weaponry.  Amateur video showed plumes of smoke rising over the base.

Syrian state TV reported that government security forces discovered a car packed with 700 kilograms of explosives in the Damascus suburb of Shiba'a.   It showed U.N. observers inspecting the trunk of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the newly elected head of the opposition Syrian National Council, Abdulbaset Sieda, urged government officials to defect. He also told Syrian youth to continue their struggle against the regime on all fronts.

He says young people know that the best answer to the recent massacres is to pursue revolutionary activities all across Syria and to demonstrate against the regime abroad.

Syrian state TV reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov plans to visit the Iranian capital Tehran, Wednesday.  Analysts say Russia is trying to arrange an international conference on Syria, to include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in addition to Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution says it would be a major mistake on the part of Western leaders to think that Russian President Vladimir Putin will stop supporting the Syrian government.

"Russia...is kind of an empire that lost its imperial range, and it feels great that everybody will have to pay court to them. So we will pay court to the Russians and the Russians will come up with the same result. Under no circumstances would (Vladimir) Putin give away the one card that gives him a seat at the table," Fouad Ajami said.

Russia and Iran are main allies of Syria's President Assad. Russia and China have vetoed two Security Council resolutions that threatened possible sanctions against Syria.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid