23 Killed in Syria Attacks as Pressure Mounts on UN Observers

United Nations observers traveling in U.N. vehicles leave a hotel in Damascus, May 1, 2012.
United Nations observers traveling in U.N. vehicles leave a hotel in Damascus, May 1, 2012.

Syrian activists say violence has killed at least 23 people, as more U.N. observers began deploying to back a cease-fire plan that has failed to end more than a year of unrest.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels killed 12 soldiers on Tuesday, in a battle in the northeastern province of Deir Ezzor. It says one civilian was killed when government troops responded with rockets and machine guns. The Observatory also says a mortar shell killed 10 people in a village in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Casualties could not be independently confirmed.

The team of U.N. monitors in Syria has grown to 30 people, with more expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated his call Tuesday for all sides in Syria's 13-month conflict to stop the violence and cooperate with the U.N. observers to implement the April 12 cease-fire agreement. He also condemned a recent series of bombings in the town of Idlib and in the capital, Damascus, calling them "terrorist" attacks.

Also Tuesday, a U.N. special envoy said at least 34 children have been killed in Syria since the start of the April 12 agreement. Radhika Coomaraswamy urged all parties in Syria to refrain from "indiscriminate tactics resulting in the killing and wounding of children."

The U.N. Security Council has authorized a 300-strong observer mission in Syria, but it is not clear when it will be fully deployed.

The United Nations estimates at least 9,000 people have been killed since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began cracking down on the uprising in March 2011.

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 page of 2
by: Gab to Huang Jun of China, Who's side are you on?
May 03, 2012 1:45 PM
If the US and UK special forces were operating in Syria, training rebels, and using the most modern weapons of France, US, and UK, the rebels would have turned this thing around. Again I ask, what is your source of these facts, so that the readers could review the documented evidence. Israel took out Assad's nuclear capability four and one half years ago, and no one gave a peep. No Arab government besides Syria has formally commented on the September 6 incident.

May 02, 2012 9:25 PM
Madman John McCain and his followers are calling for arming the terrorists. Some UK and US speacial forces are operating inside Syrian territory already. Many kinds of weapons made in France, UK, US have been found in Syria and in the hands of terrorists. The rebels are acting as professional terrorists so do you guess who have trained them, Gab?!

by: Gab to Huang Jun of China
May 02, 2012 7:01 AM
If, in fact, the Chinese authorities restrict and censor the news, what is your primary source of factual information? I am not judging, I am curious. Be specific!

by: Huang Jun
May 01, 2012 8:50 PM
Even a child could know who are really behind the terrorist attacks in Syria. They are Western nations who are calling for peace, democracy, stopping of fighting on one hand and secretly training, arming and teaching tactics to the free terrorists on the other hand.

by: Hasan DOGRU
May 01, 2012 8:31 PM
Repressive regimes in the Middle East must end.Elected, must manage.Oil revenue distributed to all Middle East countries

by: Gab to Drake
May 01, 2012 2:02 PM
Which Islamic Countries do you believe should belong to the UN? Not a one of them will sign on to UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sharia Law won't permit it. Do you believe that the US stepped out of line when we went after Al Qaeda? Do you believe Saddam was out of line when he violated 17 peaceful UN Resolutions, and thumbed his nose at Western efforts during a war on terrorism and was giving $15,000 to families of terrorist who martyred themselves in Israel.

by: Peter
May 01, 2012 12:55 PM
I doubt they present the general population . So far more than 3 attempts for general strike failed. The Syrian community is divided sharply between Islamist and liberals, only the Islamist are calling for outsider to intervene militarily and they asked al Qaeda as well who found the incubating environment.

by: Drake
May 01, 2012 10:47 AM
This is a civil war! The UN always step out of line, and even when they do, they fail miserably at what they do. I hope the United States pulls out of the UN.

by: Ochuko david lole
May 01, 2012 10:36 AM
D UN, US, EU and order international organization nd to work more harded to meet their goals. This statement was said by d secretary of ovworhokpokpor community, in udu local government area of delta state nigeria, d secretary who was addresting youth @ d community town hall, to mark d may day celebration, said dat yths should nt depend on UN, US, EU & order international organizations, but to think of how to seach for lucrative ideas to save dis generations.

by: Gab to Peter of Syria
May 01, 2012 8:17 AM
Since you have a Christian name, I assume you have no use for an hostile Islamic regimes. But I question why would the general population of people demonstrating for human rights accept help from al Qaeda, which is the extreme right of oppression.
Comments page of 2

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs