News / Middle East

Syrian Tanks Roll Into Cities as Security Crackdown Kills At Least 20

Soldiers take up position near a tank on a street in a location given as Daraa on April 25, 2011, in this still image taken from an amateur video.
Soldiers take up position near a tank on a street in a location given as Daraa on April 25, 2011, in this still image taken from an amateur video.

Witnesses say several thousand Syrian army troops, flanked by special forces, shot their way into the southern city of Daraa before dawn Monday, causing numerous casualties. Tanks reportedly began the assault, shelling the city as they moved in from four sides.

Videos distributed by human rights activists show black smoke over the city center and fires burning as shell-fire crackled in the background.

Reports say Syrian special forces stormed private homes to make arrests, Witnesses say snipers began shooting from rooftops and many victims remain lying in the streets.

Jordanian authorities said the main highway crossing between Jordan and Syria was closed to traffic and that two border posts were not allowing anyone to enter Syria.

Syrian rights activists say that security forces also encircled the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Madaamiya, arresting hundreds of people.

The crackdown came as Syrian government media condemned what was called the "crimes of armed gangs" and "outside plots to divide the country."  Syrian television reported that 15 members of the army and security forces were killed in recent violence.

The sister of one such victim said on state television she was proud that her brother had died to defend his country.

She says she is the sister of martyr Nihad Ayoub, and while she is sad her brother died, she thanks God for his sacrifice.

The Syrian government daily Tishreen condemned what it called "outside media mobilization campaigns" against Syria, complaining that "freedom cannot be exercised amid chaos....without security for the country and its citizens."

But Nadim Houry of Human Rights Watch in Beirut called on the United Nations to begin an independent international investigation into what he said are "abuses that have occurred in Syria in the past five weeks."

He also urged the European Union and the United States to impose sanctions on the Syrian leadership, a move the Obama administration said it is considering.

The U.N.’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, demanded that Syria curtail its crackdown and urged a "full and independent investigation" into the killings of protesters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid