News

More than 100 Dead in Syria Ahead of Peace Deadline

Damaged building are seen in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib city, Syria, April 5 , 2012.
Damaged building are seen in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib city, Syria, April 5 , 2012.

At least 100 people were reported killed across Syria Saturday, as government forces pounded opposition strongholds three days ahead of a deadline to halt all military action.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that tracks the violence in Syria, said about two-thirds of those who died were civilians and that many of the casualties were in the central village of Latamneh.

Rights groups and witnesses said military shelling and clashes between pro-government and opposition forces erupted in several regions.

Ausama Monajed, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council, said the government was trying to crush dissent ahead of the April 10 deadline.

"We've seen this over and over again. This will never bear any fruit and the regime will always try to escalate the level of violence before any deadline," he said.

Also Saturday, thousands of Syrians rallied in Damascus and several other cities to mark the 65th anniversary of the creation of the ruling Baath Party.  Many waved red, black and green Syrian flags or pictures of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government has promised to stop all military action by April 10 under terms of a peace agreement brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.  The agreement calls for the opposition to lay down its arms within 48 hours after the government fulfills its promise.

Syria troop pullout

Satellite image posted on the US embassy's Facebook page shows the Syrian government removed some forces in Da’el in Daraa province.

Monajed says the Syrian National Council backs the peace plan but doubts President Assad will abide by its provisions.  "Despite the fact that we supported the plan, and we still do, we do not think it is going to bear any fruit," he said.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday sharply criticized the Assad government for its continued assault on civilians and said the cease-fire deadline "is not an excuse for continued killing."

The U.N. says more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began 13 months ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP 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: William
April 10, 2012 9:07 AM
All the blood is on putins hands.

by: Aliyari
April 08, 2012 9:22 PM
This is a war between Shia and Sunni
why people think different?

by: Natasha
April 08, 2012 9:17 PM
The peace deadline cannot be met because the rebels are all terrorists. The only way to solve the problems is to destroy them and their sponsors.

by: Wondering
April 08, 2012 8:22 AM
What is the stance of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner on Syria. Her opinion is remarkably quiet, given the huge loss of life and the duration of the violence against civilllians.

by: jamshidrahmani84@yahoo.com
April 08, 2012 3:21 AM
i love the islamic country

by: Loeber
April 07, 2012 8:19 PM
"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and -- more profoundly -- our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are," President Obama said. "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

by: reza
April 07, 2012 7:09 AM
i believe that united nation can not help to Syria people and it will provide profit of west and united state i am sure that Syria government had agreement with them only for stability himself this decision is only useful for short run it is not suitable for long run.

by: Dean
April 07, 2012 5:22 AM
The USA is totally obsessed with Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs