News / Middle East

Syrian Government Launches New Raids Ahead of Security Council Meeting

This image made from amateur video released by Deir el-Zour Press news and accessed via The Associated Press Television News, shows Syrian tanks on the street in Deir el-Zour, Syria, Tuesday August 9, 2011
This image made from amateur video released by Deir el-Zour Press news and accessed via The Associated Press Television News, shows Syrian tanks on the street in Deir el-Zour, Syria, Tuesday August 9, 2011

Syrian security forces have launched new raids, as the U.N. Security Council prepares to discuss the country's unrest.

Rights groups say at least one civilian was killed and three wounded on Wednesday after tanks moved into several northwestern villages near the Turkish border.

Meanwhile, witnesses say security forces have pushed further into Deir el-Zour, an eastern town that has been under siege for several days.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been facing growing international condemnation for his crackdown on dissent.

The U.S. Wednesday announced new sanctions against Syria, freezing the U.S. assets of a bank and a mobile phone operator.  The U.S. Treasury Department said both the Commercial Bank of Syria and Syriatel are part of the financial infrastructure that has been enabling what he called the Syrian regime.

Later Wednesday, the Security Council is set to meet to discuss possible further action against Damascus.  Last week the Council issued a strong statement condemning the government crackdown on opposition protesters and calling for the violence to stop.

Also, a delegation consisting of Security Council members India, Brazil and South Africa met with Syria's foreign minister, Walid Moallem, on Wednesday in a move to halt the crackdown. The state-run SANA news agency says the foreign minister blamed "armed groups" for recent deaths and what he called acts of sabotage.

In a separate development, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday a Turkish envoy had visited the flashpoint city of Hama, which had been under siege since late July.  

He says Syrian security forces have begun to pull out of the city and expressed hope that the government would begin to enact reforms in the near future. His comments come a day after Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, met with Assad in Damascus and urged him to end the bloodshed.

A state-run news report says army units left Hama after restoring stability. The report said "armed terrorist groups" were responsible for the violence. Rights groups and activists say more than 100 people were killed in Hama during the government siege.

Assad has defended his crackdown on dissidents, saying it is a national duty to deal with what he called "outlaws" who block roads and "terrorize" people.

On Tuesday, the United States said Assad had made "horrible choices" in Hama and Deir el-Zour.  State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also said it is "deeply regrettable" that Assad does not seem to be hearing the "increasingly loud voice of the international community."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone to his Syrian counterpart, Walid Moallem, on Tuesday and urged him to find ways to end the violence and enact political reforms. Iraq's parliament also urged Syria to end the bloodshed, and Jordan and Egypt expressed concern about the unrest.

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

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid