News

    Gunfire From Syria Wounds 5 in Turkey

    Workers walk between container houses on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern city of Kilis, Turkey, February 2012. (file photo)
    Workers walk between container houses on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern city of Kilis, Turkey, February 2012. (file photo)

    Turkish officials say Syrian forces fired across the border at a refugee camp, wounding at least five people Monday, a day before a U.N.-brokered cease-fire is supposed to take effect.

    According to Syrian activists, two people were killed in the attack near a refugee camp in the southeastern Kilis region. About 25,000 refugees are currently housed in camps in Turkey's three provinces bordering Syria.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the incident began early Monday when Syria's armed opposition attacked President Bashar al-Assad's security forces at a border checkpoint. Activists said Syrian rebel fighters killed at least six members of Syria's security forces.

    Monday's border incident is the first of its kind since Turkey began sheltering thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing a bloody crackdown on a 13-month anti-government uprising, but similar attacks have occurred along Syria's border with Lebanon.

    Lebanese media reported Monday that a television journalist was shot dead in crossfire in the border region. Lebanon's Al-Jadeed satellite television blamed the Syrian army for the death of cameraman Ali Shaaban, saying troops opened fire at its crew, which was on Lebanon's side of the border. There was no independent confirmation of the shooting circumstances.

    Map showing town of Kilis, Turkey, on border with Syria.
    Map showing town of Kilis, Turkey, on border with Syria.

    Annan Turkey visit scheduled
    International envoy Kofi Annan is to visit one of the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey on Tuesday in a previously scheduled trip.

    Annan's six-point peace plan, including a cease-fire, is to go into effect on Tuesday, but Syria's violence has escalated in recent days with the killing of about 175 people.

    A video released Monday via a social media network purports to show a spokesman from the Free Syrian Army joint command, Col. Qassem Saad Eddin, announcing the rebels' commitment to the impending cease-fire.

    "The joint command of the Free Syria Army inside Syria announces its complete commitment the U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, in line with the U.N. Security Council resolution which calls for a cease-fire from all parties," the speaker said on video. "We will honor this promise if the regime remains committed to the initiative."

    Assad's government said Sunday it wants iron-clad "written guarantees" that insurgents would stop fighting before it withdraws troops from cities.

    But the commander for the rebel Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, said it will not give guarantees to the Syrian government.

    In Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to abide by pledges for a cease-fire.

    Separately, an international rights group said Syrian forces have summarily executed more than 100 people, mostly civilians, during the past four months, mostly in March. Monday's report by Human Rights Watch said this includes several mass executions in the restive provinces of Homs and Idlib. The New York-based group said report authors included only cases corroborated by witnesses, but that they received more reports of similar incidents.

    U.N. officials have said more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began more than a year ago.

     

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

    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.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: feras
    April 09, 2012 2:19 PM
    Land and sea witness testifies the crimes and the terrorism which is done each and every moment by the International Criminal Bashar Al-Assad .
    Every silent country , organization or even individual persons allover the world are participant in the massacres .
    Stop the masscare in my country

    by: Uthman
    April 09, 2012 8:46 AM
    This attack on Turkish soil by Assad’s assassins can be considered an act of war against Turkey. It would be justifiable that the Turkish authorities establish a safe haven buffer inside Syria for several kilometers to prevent a repeat of this criminal act. If Assad refuses this buffer, Turkey would be justified to use force to establish this safety buffer to protect Turkish soil from a repeat of this criminal act against Turkish sovereignty.

    by: Julian Leonard
    April 09, 2012 7:05 AM
    This is pure false flag! That the media reproduces this story WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION is testimony to the sheer bias in the coverage we're being fed on Syria.

    Tommorrow, no doubt, Syrian troops will be seen tipping babies out of incubators.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora