News / Middle East

Syrian Troops Kill 7 in Coastal Area

Image from amateur video purports to show body of man killed by Syrian regime forces in Idlib, June 5, 2012.
Image from amateur video purports to show body of man killed by Syrian regime forces in Idlib, June 5, 2012.
A Syrian rights group says government troops have killed at least seven people in a second day of fighting with rebels in a previously calm coastal region where no U.N. observers have been deployed.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said military helicopters and tanks opened fire on several towns in the northwestern province of Latakia on Wednesday. It said the dead include several civilians and at least one rebel.

Fighting across Syria on Tuesday killed more than 30 people, many of them in Latakia, the Observatory said. The casualties could not be independently confirmed.

Damascus-based U.N. spokeswoman Sausan Ghosheh said that the U.N. observer mission in Syria does not have any observers in Latakia. She said the U.N. confirmed clashes in the area by speaking to representatives of both sides and will not send unarmed observers into harm's way.

But Ghosheh said the mission plans to set up a base in the southwestern coastal city of Tartus by the end of the week and send a patrol to Latakia as soon as possible.

Free Syrian Army rebels appear to have intensified attacks on security forces in recent days after some rebel commanders declared they will no longer be bound by a U.N.-backed truce agreement because of repeated government violations. Damascus denies violating the cease-fire and blames the rebels for continued fighting.

Lebanese security officials said Wednesday Syrian troops have shot and killed a Lebanese man and wounded two others in a gun battle along the two nations' poorly-demarcated border. They said the fighting erupted near the Lebanese town of Arsal as a small group of Lebanese were trying to cross into Syria through an area known as a smuggling route.

Several shootings have happened on the Lebanon-Syria border since the start of a 15-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, raising concerns that Syria's conflict may spread to its smaller neighbor.

As violence continues, Assad appointed the agriculture minister from his outgoing Cabinet as the country's new prime minister on Wednesday, in the latest step of what the president has called a political reform process.

State media said prime minister-designate Riad Farid Hijab will form Syria's next government.

The Assad government held a parliamentary election on May 7. But Syrian opposition activists said few people voted in the country's rebellious towns and villages.

In a meeting in China on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said nations exerting influence over Syrian opposition groups should join an international gathering to rescue the faltering cease-fire deal brokered by U.N.-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan.

Russia is a longtime ally of the Assad government and has blamed his opponents for much of Syria's violence.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was headed to Istanbul Wednesday to discuss the Syrian conflict with her counterparts from other nations demanding Assad leave office, including Turkey, Britain, France, and several Arab states.

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

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: America
June 06, 2012 6:17 PM
The Assad Gangster Regime represents pure evil. Kofi Annan’s plan is a total absolute failure. The world must realize that you cannot negotiate with the devil. The only way to end the suffering and misery of the Syrian people is the use of force to completely eliminate Assad, the Shabiha and the Ba’ath Party from Syria forever. When a Regime is so wicked that they will kill children and babies in broad daylight, they are letting you know that human life means nothing to them. A total air and naval blockade must be imposed on Syria immediately. Assad must be notified to leave Syria now or face the consequences.

by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
June 06, 2012 3:39 PM
THIS IS TIME NOW HAVE COME WITH NO MISSION DIPLOMATIC REPABULIC TURKEY . THIS IS NOW TIME HAVE COMWITHOUT MISSION DIPLOMATIC REPABULIC TURKEY IN SYRIA IN BY NOW TIME .

by: Michael from: USA
June 06, 2012 9:22 AM
A single political party would make organizing the government more consistent, but the government's organization exerts influence on reform, so that it remains a 'closed' system

by: John
June 06, 2012 7:31 AM
Must admit I still feel that this war is the business of the Syrian people and all others, especially the West, should keep out.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs