News / Middle East

    Hezbollah Militants Killed in Syria, Activists Say

    Citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 18, 201Citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 18, 201
    x
    Citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 18, 201
    Citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 18, 201
    VOA News
    Syrian activists say at least 23 Hezbollah militants have been killed in fighting for the town of Qusair, as Syrian forces press a weeks-long offensive to recapture the strategic area from rebels.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the deaths of the Lebanon-based militants Monday, saying more than 70 others were wounded.

    Qusair is located along the Syrian-Lebanese border, and links Syria's capital Damascus to the Mediterranean coast.  There was no independent confirmation of who controlled the town Monday.  Controlling it would solidify President Assad's access to coastal regions largely inhabited by his minority Alawite sect.   Qusair also has formed part of a cross-border smuggling route for rebels.

    Syrian state media said the army had "restored security" to most of Qusair and was pursuing "terrorist groups" in the town.  Syria uses the term "terrorists" to describe the rebels fighting a two-year war to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

    • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (L) speaks with Shukri Bin Suleiman Harmasi (R), secretary general of the Tunisian Immutable Principles Party, during a meeting in Damascus, May 23, 2013.
    • A Syrian rebel fires shells against government forces in Idlib, northern Syria, May 23, 2013.
    • Security forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad take part in a field exercise at an undisclosed location, May 22, 2013. (SANA via Reuters)
    • This citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows people gathered by houses that were destroyed in an airstrike in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 21, 2013.
    • This citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows a man checking his house that was damaged by an airstrike, Qusair, Homs, Syria, May 21, 2013.
    • This citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows rebels preparing to repel an attack by government forces, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 19, 2013.
    • This citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of buildings damaged in government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, May 18, 2013.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires back at the Syrian Army, Deir al-Zor, May 19, 2013.
    • People travel on the back of a pickup truck in Deir al-Zor, Syria, May 19, 2013.
    • Members of the Free Syrian Army cook food, Deir al-Zor, May 19, 2013.

    The Reuters news agency quoted opposition activists saying rebel fighters had pushed back the government forces.

    As Syrian refugees continue to stream into Jordan and Lebanon, the international aid group Oxfam warned that warmer summer weather will increase health-related risks due to a lack of shelter, water and basic sanitation.

    Related video report by Scott Bobb
    Syrian Rebels Suffer Setbacks From Fighting in Town Near Lebanon Borderi
    X
    May 20, 2013 7:53 PM
    Syrian government troops backed by fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement have been in fierce battles in the rebel-held town of Qusair after weeks of fighting. Many wounded rebels are being treated across the nearby border in northern Lebanon. VOA's Scott Bobb spoke to some of them in Tripoli and has this report.
    Increased cases of public health-related diseases such as diarrhea and skin infections have already been recorded in host communities and temporary settlements, where an increasing number of refugees now live.

    In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley alone, there are now some 240 tented settlements, six times the number recorded in January.

    As of May 2013, some 635,000 people are in need of assistance in Lebanon - both refugees and host communities - and Oxfam says it anticipates this number to increase to over 740,000 by November.

    More than 80,000 people have been killed and several million displaced since the start of the rebellion against Assad in March 2011.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kafantaris from: USA
    May 20, 2013 2:45 PM
    “They're defending their fields, their land.”
    “But those [Hezbollah] aggressors, what goal do they have? It’s not their town."
    Dr. Zahereddine, whose brother is in Qusayr fighting with the Rebels.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 20, 2013 10:30 AM
    At the beginning of the war Assad called for settlement but no one listened to him. Now there's bloodshed and everybody thinks Bassir should be blamed. What about democracy, what does it demand - that mobs should be formed to remove democratically elected governments? When did it become the norm to change governments by mob action and riots? The West is setting a wrong precedence by encouraging the rebels. Assad's use of Hezbollah, though regrettable, is a direct consequence of Western treachery and backstabbing. And the fear of shia islamisation took the Arab League to fall headlong in wanting urgently to uproot Assad. But with Russia and China standing solidly behind him, only a round table solution will bring an end to the crisis in Syria; unless someone calling the shots is happy with the blood birth out there.

    by: Anonymous
    May 20, 2013 9:28 AM
    Instead of fighting a war back and forth town after town, these rebels need to go directly after Bashar al Assad the source of the war and capture him. They need to hold him responsible for the murder of thousands, and end the war with the Syrian Nation, and destroying most of the country. Bashars days are already over but it needs to be ended even faster.

    by: Mukao from: uk
    May 20, 2013 7:24 AM
    Thats because they are terrorists. And the Syrian government is doing exactly what any other country would do to get rid of them. Western media sicks me
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    May 20, 2013 9:24 AM
    Wrong, Bashar al Assad wipes out entire towns and villages, killing populations of their own people. Big difference, we have human rights laws, you do that and you become a war criminal. So you best do research before you say we would act like Bashar al Assad, think again. We want him served justice for the murder of thousands of his own people. Hezzbolah is already labelled a terrorist group, and if they are aiding Bashar, they are going to get a heavy back hand slap along with Bashar. All Bashar is doing is creating another proxy war within his already started war to try and sideline the fact he is a criminal himself. He has killed more innocent civilians times 100 vs killing terrorists. The end is nearing for Bashar but he is just trying to "Skip the subject", his crimes arent going away though they are just getting bigger. The world wants justice served to him for the deaths of tens of thousands innocent civilians.
    In Response

    by: Steve Collins
    May 20, 2013 9:02 AM
    You are wrong.. Hezbollah was killed by the rebel forces. hezbollah is helping Assad.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.