News / Middle East

Syrian President Concedes 'Mistakes' in Handling Protests

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, addresses the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, March 30, 2011 (File Photo)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, addresses the Parliament, in Damascus, Syria, March 30, 2011 (File Photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the authorities have made some mistakes in their handling of anti-government protests since mid-March.

Assad told a group of dignitaries that most of the blame lay with poorly trained members of the security services, according to government TV. But he said Syria had now "overcome the crisis" and it was coming to an end.

The admission comes as new reports of attacks on civilians are taking place in a town near the border with Lebanon.

Syrian President Concedes 'Mistakes' in Handling Protests
Syrian President Concedes 'Mistakes' in Handling Protests

Video on a Facebook website showed scores of protesters chanting slogans against the government in Syria’s third largest city of Homs Wednesday, heeding a call for a nationwide general strike. Other reports, however, said that shops were open, due to a heavy security presence in the city.

Witnesses in the capital Damascus say that the strike did not appear to have attracted much support in the more visible parts of the city. The French Press Agency reported some unrest in a lower-class neighborhood of Aleppo, along with a large demonstration in Ifrin, north of the city.

Overnight, a campus protest at Aleppo University was broken up by government militiamen and hundreds of students were arrested. It was the second straight night that Aleppo students came out to protest.

A Syrian opposition group on Facebook showed video of several hundred protesters chanting against the government in Damascus’ Kurdish quarter of Rukn al Din, Tuesday.

Syria’s Council of Ministers also met Wednesday to discuss reforms that have been promised by President Assad. Information Minister Adnan Hammoud described plans to reform the judiciary:

He says that the Council of Ministers decided at Wednesday’s meeting to set up a committee to reform the judicial system and to devise a strategy to reform the judiciary at all levels, including re-organizing judicial bodies and increasing the number of judges.

Meanwhile, in Yemen the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation group of oil-producing countries, proposed a deal, which aims to end months of unrest and stabilize the region. The parties were expected to sign the agreement Wednesday, officials said. However, given the number of times Saleh has backed out of resigning in recent weeks, some opposition leaders said they remained skeptical. Protesters have been threatening to storm the presidential palace and other government buildings.

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

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid