News / Middle East

Unrest Ripples Across Troubled Middle East

A tank is seen in the Syrian port city of Banias April 10, 2011
A tank is seen in the Syrian port city of Banias April 10, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Tensions continue to mount in a number of Syrian cities after violent crackdowns against anti-government protesters.  Witnesses say government forces have surrounded the town of Banias, and clashes have been reported in several nearby villages.  Unrest also continued Tuesday in Yemen, Bahrain, and Algeria.  

Protesters in the Syrian town of Palmyra chanted slogans against the government as they buried a young man killed during recent unrest.  The footage on a Facebook support group claims the young man was an army soldier who was shot for refusing orders to fire on protesters.

Eyewitnesses also report that Syrian tanks have sealed off the coastal town of Banias, scene of violent sectarian clashes in recent days.  One man told the French news agency that security forces were "firing indiscriminately" at the nearby town of Baida, with "gunfire as intense as rain."

Banias is the hometown of former Syrian Vice President Abdel Helim Khaddam.  He fled Syria several years ago for Europe, where he leads an anti-government umbrella group.

Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, is blaming the Syrian government for denying medical care to wounded protesters.

Nadim Houry of the group's Beirut office says rights workers spoke to at least 20 eyewitnesses who insist that security forces have prevented doctors and medics from treating wounded protesters:

"Security forces were preventing medical personnel from reaching the wounded, either by firing at anyone who would get closer to the wounded protesters or by preventing ambulances from reaching areas where people were wounded or even detaining wounded protesters as the arrived to hospitals. That has led many of the doctors to treat the wounded protesters either in private homes or in actual mosques," he said.

Houry says that conditions in the flashpoint city of Daraa were so primitive that doctors "used a spoon to determine the position of a bullet on one patient."

The editor of Syria’s official government daily Al Thawra told al-Jazeera television that the foreign press was "exaggerating the scope of violence inside Syria." Syria has prevented most foreign journalists from visiting strife-torn areas and expelled many from the country.

In the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, and other cities, tens of thousands of protesters rallied to denounce a Gulf Cooperation Council mediation plan that calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to his vice president.  The protesters complain that the plan gives President Saleh immunity from prosecution.

Elsewhere, thousands of student protesters rallied in the Algerian capital, Algiers, to demand the resignation of the country’s education minister.

Thousands of students in Algeria have marched toward the presidential palace in the capital, Algiers, where they were confronted by security forces.
News reports say the students clashed with security forces in front of the presidential palace.

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

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More