News / Middle East

UN Chief Demands Unimpeded Access to Besieged Syrian City

This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
x
This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
VOA News
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is demanding Syrian authorities grant  the U.N. "unimpeded access" to the besieged city of Haffeh, where civilians are said to be trapped.

U.N. monitors report Syrian forces are using helicopters to attack the rebel-held city and that civilians are caught in the crossfire.

Mr. Ban's office said Monday that he expressed deep concern over the "dangerous intensification" of the fighting in Syria over the past few days, and called for the bloodshed and fighting to stop at once.

U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says he is "gravely concerned" about the violence in  Haffeh and Homs where rebels have been attacked by artillery, helicopters, tanks and mortars. Monday was the first time the U.N. said it could verify activists' reports that Syrian military helicopters were attacking the rebels.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said officials are deeply alarmed about reports from inside Syria that the government may be planning another massacre of civilians in at least six places.

"Syrian forces have already escalated their oppression in direct defiance of their commitments to the Annan plan by using now new, horrific tactics, including the firing on civilians from the air by helicopters. Added to the use of irregular forces, the shabiha, this constitutes a very serious escalation," she said.

Violence across the country Monday claimed more than 60 lives, according to activists' reports, but it has been impossible to confirm the toll independently. There are reports of an aerial assault by government forces targeting the strategic river city of Rastan, which has resisted government offensives for months.

Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces began increasingly relying on helicopter attacks after government troops suffered major losses in recent battles.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Susan Patterson
June 12, 2012 9:35 PM
Either the U.N. is naive or just plain stupid. The Assad dictatorship is in the middle of wholesale genocide of the Sunni community of Syria. Asking Assad to be transparent during this time is like asking Hitler to close the Concentration camps in 1944. It is not going to happen. Assad will not stop his murdering spree until every Sunni in Syria is exterminated. It is as simple as that. Either the Western Nations invade Syria and stop the killing or watch the Syrian Sunni community join the Passenger Pigeon, the Wooly Mammoth and the Dodo Bird as extinct species in the world.

by: george pavlakis from: las vegas
June 12, 2012 8:55 PM
Where the hell was the UN the time the US forces killed hundred of thousands civilians in IRAQ??
Where the HELL the UN was and IS the time the PROUD US forces kill the women and Children in PAKISTAN every day ??.
Where the HELL the UN are the time the US forces kill thousand people in Afghanistan??

by: Mr. Blow from: Washington
June 12, 2012 9:13 AM
Dr. Observer & Citizen of the World - Saudi & Qatar are financing the opposition, not Israel or the U.S. The Syrian people are fighting for freedom. China is trying to bully other countries over their islands and should accept that they are no better. "Citizen" is just a drooling weirdo.

by: John from: Lagos
June 12, 2012 6:13 AM
NATO never granted the UN unimpeded access to Libyan cities until the job was finished. Please Ban Ki Moon or Sun, allow the Syrian government to finish the job before you go in to do clean up.

by: buck mast from: Tennessee
June 12, 2012 12:11 AM
I am sure because the infamous U.N. demands anything that Syria is really worried

by: Ron from: Florida
June 12, 2012 12:05 AM
I feel that this is a time when you take action and ask questions later, if not too late. These folks are like you and me but we are not under fire...I say get on in there guys

by: DrObserver from: China
June 11, 2012 11:10 PM
Civil wars are still wars . . extreme politics [the business of controlling resources and privilege] . . . so why are certain governments vilified and others given a "free pass" [as the Shah of Iran, Suharto and Sukarno in Indonesia, etc.]? Just politics . . . propaganda by those who want what others have. How about we compare the atrocities by Americans ON Americans?? ahhhhh yes . . . that is different . . . like torture, chemical warfare, plastic fragmentation bombs in Haiphong.

by: DSA from: San Diego, CA
June 11, 2012 10:53 PM
The U.N. is USELESS!!!!

by: Citizen of the World from: Everywhere Man
June 11, 2012 10:39 PM
Lets have the USG and the media answer the first question. Arab Spring? Is there really an Arab Spring people movement? The Plot to Overthrow by mohammad goldstein bluntly tells the world who a Jew IS and what a Muslim really IS; Obama has a copy, get it for nuttin on the net it will blow your political mind about Americas role and is laced with “inside” truth about Washington,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs