News

    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
        Next 
    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.

    by: HUANG JUN TO GAB
    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
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.