News / Middle East

US Voices 'Horror' over NYT Syria Execution Photo

This image made from amateur video released by Tabshoor1 and accessed July 31, 2012, purports to show Free Syrian Army soldiers executing Assad loyalists in Aleppo, Syria.  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT,
This image made from amateur video released by Tabshoor1 and accessed July 31, 2012, purports to show Free Syrian Army soldiers executing Assad loyalists in Aleppo, Syria. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT,
VOA News
Images of Syrian rebels executing seven government soldiers displayed the violence of the Syrian civil war Thursday as world leaders met for summit talks in Russia, with no sign they have reconciled their differences over that Middle East conflict.
 
The U.S. State Department said it was "horrified" by video and photographic images published by The New York Times. The influential newspaper identified the leader of the execution squad and reported he ordered the videotaping last year to drum up support for the rebel cause.
 
There was no official comment on the grisly images in St. Petersburg, where the Group of 20 nations met for their annual economic summit. U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who are at odds over how to respond to the carnage in Syria, greeted each other as the summit began, but there were no reported private contacts between them.
 
At the State Department in Washington, spokeswoman Jan Psaki condemned summary executions by any party to the Syrian conflict. She did not dispute the newspaper account that said the killings documented executions carried out in April, but said U.S. authorities are seeking more information.

The newspaper has since issued a correction, noting the incident took place in 2012, not this past April.
 
The video showed prisoners crouching in front of their captors. They were stripped to the waist and their backs were covered with red welts.
 
The seven pressed their faces into the dirt as the rebel commander recited what was described as a revolutionary verse. About 24 gunshots followed, and the victims' bodies were thrown into a well.
 
In St. Petersburg, President Obama is seeking support for military strikes against Syria's government for its widely reported use of chemical weapons last month.
 
Putin supports the Syrian government's contrary account of the poison-gas attacks near Damascus that are said to have killed more than 1,400 people. The Assad regime and its supporters in the Kremlin contend it was rebels who used illegal chemical weapons, firing at government troops.
 
The Russian president has warned that military strikes such as those Obama is proposing would be unacceptable "aggression" against Syria if they are not authorized by the United Nations. Russia has blocked previous efforts by the Security Council to act against Syria for its tactics in the civil war, which is now in its third year. But Putin says he would support a strike if there was "convincing" proof that Damascus used chemical weapons.
 
Russia and China both have cast vetoes at the Security Council to defeat Western efforts to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government responsible for the wholesale slaughter of civilians caught up in the conflict.
 
At the U.N., where American officials hosted briefings on the events in Syria, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Russia is holding the world body hostage and shirking its international responsibilities.
 
“There is nothing in the pattern of our interactions with our colleagues in the Security Council, our Russian colleagues, that would give us any reason to be optimistic. And, indeed, we have seen nothing in President Putin’s comments that suggests there is an available path forward at the Security Council,” said Power.
 
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate could begin debate next week on a measure calling for limited military strikes on Syria.  A key Senate panel on Wednesday approved the draft resolution, which also rules out deploying U.S. ground troops to the country.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid