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

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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