News / Middle East

US, Britain Call for Tougher Sanctions on Syria

People protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr in the city of Suqba August 30, 2011. The banner reads: "Need international intervention to protect us from Bashar's gangs", August 30, 2011.
People protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr in the city of Suqba August 30, 2011. The banner reads: "Need international intervention to protect us from Bashar's gangs", August 30, 2011.

Multimedia

The United States and Britain are demanding new strict international sanctions to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from office, following the country's continued crackdown on protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the world community should escalate pressure on Assad by targeting Syria's oil and gas exports.

The top U.S. diplomat, speaking in Paris, said tough new sanctions against Syria's energy sector would deny the government revenues that fund its "campaign of violence" against pro-democracy protesters.

Related video clip: Syria sanctions

Earlier Thursday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said European Union officials are preparing to discuss sanctions on Syria's oil sector as a way of pressuring Damascus to stop its deadly crackdown on dissent. Hague said there is a "real prospect" that EU officials meeting in Poland later this week will agree to ban the sale of Syrian oil to the 27-nation bloc.

Meanwhile, Damascus saw its first defection of a prominent official to the opposition. The attorney general for the central province of Hama said in a video released late Wednesday that he has resigned in protest over hundreds of killings, arrests and accusations of torture by Syrian security forces.

On video, Adnan Bakkour accused pro-Assad forces of killing 72 prisoners in the province on July 31 before imposing a siege on Hama city in August and killing another 420 people for participating in peaceful protests. He said government forces buried the dead in mass graves and forced him to issue a report blaming the killings on armed gangs.

Bakkour also said an additional 320 people had died from torture at police stations, that 10,000 more had been arbitrarily arrested and that the army had leveled houses while their occupants were still inside.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency says Bakkour was kidnapped earlier this week by "armed terrorist groups" and forced to make his resignation statement under duress. In another video posted to the Internet Thursday, Bakkour denies being kidnapped.

Rights activists and residents say Syrian security forces backed by tanks renewed operations in Hama on Wednesday, hunting for leaders behind the five-month uprising against President Assad and making arrests. Hama has seen some of the country's biggest protests demanding an end to Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

 

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

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid