Thursday, March 15, 2012
Today is the one-year anniversary of the protest movement in Syria. While the Arab Spring brought regime change to Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has retained his grip on power. Syrian forces loyal to President Assad have stepped up attacks across the country. Yesterday, government forces began raiding Dara'a, the city where the uprising against the president began. In the last year, Syrian forces have killed more than 8,000 people, according to the United Nations. The international community can’t seem to agree on a solution, and the opposition movement is fractured. What's ahead for Syria?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
According to new reports from Human Rights Watch, Syria is laying landmines across its borders with Lebanon and Turkey. Steve Goose, arms division director for Human Rights Watch, called the use of these weapons "unconscionable," going on to say that "there is absolutely no justification for the use of these indiscriminate weapons by any country, anywhere, for any purpose." What implications will these weapons have on the estimated 200,000 refugees still within Syrian borders?
Monday, March 12, 2012
As hopes for diplomacy stall once again, the killing goes on in Syria, with a report this morning of dozens dead after an attack by pro-government militia in Homs. This latest violence comes after UN envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad twice over the weekend, but failed to reach a cease-fire agreement.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
With a video posted on YouTube Wednesday, Syrian deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin announced his defection from President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Hussameddin had served the Syrian government for 33 years and is the highest level political figure to abandon the government for the rebellion. "I am joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime," Hussameddin states in the video.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Horrific stories are emerging from thousands of refugees streaming out of Syria into Lebanon. The refugees tell of summary executions and torture. The International Red Cross remains outside Baba Amr in Homs, despite being given the green light to enter five days ago. Paul Wood, correspondent for our partner the BBC, reports from outside Homs.
Friday, March 02, 2012
As news of violence continues to pour out of Syria, we examine the role that music has played in the country’s ongoing uprising. Composer and musician Malek Jandali, who is of Syrian descent, joins us in the studio to discuss how his recent works, including the protest song “Watani Ana” (“I am my homeland”), have become part of the Arab Spring movement – and have attracted unwelcome attention from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Plus: New York Times UN bureau chief Neil MacFarquhar joins us from Beirut to talk about other examples of creative revolt in Syria.
Friday, March 02, 2012
After receiving permission from Syrian authorities yesterday, International Red Cross workers are bringing food and medical aid into the district of Baba Amr in the city of Homs today. The region has been under siege for nearly a month. Yesterday, rebel forces announced a “tactical withdrawal” there. The decision handed a victory of sorts to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; it also set off a campaign of raids and arrests across the city. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 17 people were killed yesterday alone.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker, just returned from reporting from the front lines in Syria. He tells us who the rebels are in Syria, and how difficult it is to report as a foreign journalist in the country. On Tuesday, reporter Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ohlik were killed during one of the Syrian military's ongoing assaults on Homs. On Thursday alone, activists estimated that 101 people were killed. Meanwhile, the group "Friends of Syria" will meet in Tunis on Friday to discuss the possibility of dialogue with the Assad regime, but the conflict shows no signs of abating.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Rami al Sayed, a citizen journalist in Homs who had been live streaming attacks on the city using his cell phone, was killed this week. Hours later, two foreign journalists, Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed in an apparent attack on a makeshift media center. Brooke and Bob talk about the distressing situation faced by anyone trying to report on Syria, from digital activist to professional journalist.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
By Stephen Nessen : Reporter, WNYC News
When protests first began in Syria last year, many exiles in the region were reluctant to voice their opposition out of concern for family back home. However, as the government crack down has grown more violent, Syrians in the area are no longer staying silent.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
On Sunday, the Arab League called for the U.N. Security Council to create a joint peacekeeping force for Syria and urged all Arab states to sever diplomatic ties with president Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay told the General Assembly that the scale of abuses by the Syrian government indicate that crimes against humanity have taken place since March, and are continuing. In response, the U.S. is hoping to meet with international partners to discuss how to end the violence.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Despite China and Russia's staunch opposition, the Arab League will return to the United Nations Monday morning to propose a peacekeeping mission in Syria. But the Arab League isn’t the only organization calling for Assad’s ouster: number of jihadi leaders are also offering support to the Syrian opposition, including Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri. Al Qaeda in Iraq, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq, also posted a message of encouragement on its website.
Friday, February 10, 2012
As part of The Takeaway's week-long focus on Syria, Ayat Shukairy, a listener from Detroit, joins the program to share updates from her family and friends currently living in Damascus, Homs, and Hama. Syrian government forces have reportedly stepped up their attacks on the besieged city of Homs. Roads in and out of parts of the city have been blocked and a week-long bombardment of tanks helicopter and artillery fire has reportedly killed hundreds.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The 11-month-old Syrian uprising has been making headlines especially after the government onslaught on Homs on Wednesday. The revolt has turned deadly with many civilians losing their lives in the struggle for regime change. But who are the people behind the opposition? The Takeaway gets a perspective on the ongoing violence in Homs, Syria.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would've allowed action to be taken against Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. has closed their embassy in Syria, and has begun discussing imposing sanctions. But more pressingly, unlike the intervention in Libya, there seems to be little that the international community can do to protect civilians.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have supported an Arab League peace plan for Syria, claiming the plan would have violated Syria’s sovereignty. On Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the veto during a speech in Sofia, Bulgaria, stating, "Faced with a neutered Security Council we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people's right to have a better future."
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
On Monday Arab League representatives met with the United Nations Security Council to discuss a plan of action for Syria. More than 5,000 Syrians have been killed by government forces since protests against President Bashar Al-Assad began last March. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivered a strong message of support to the Syrian resistance the same day: "The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region."
Monday, January 30, 2012
Early Sunday morning, approximately 2,000 Syrian soldiers launched an assault on the suburbs of Damascus. Armed tanks rolled into the outskirts of the city where many dissident soldiers have taken up residence. This latest spate of violence comes as the Arab League officially suspended its monitoring mission in Syria citing increasing violence and civilian deaths.