News / Middle East

Syrian Activists: Government Shelling Kills 18 Civilians

Map of Khan al-Assal, Syria
Map of Khan al-Assal, Syria
VOA News
A Syrian activist group says government shelling has killed at least 18 people in northern Syria, while 28 rebels died near Damascus battling government forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says mortar shells hit Sunday in the northwestern town of Ariha, which is held mostly by opposition fighters.  The group says the victims included two women and a child.

Earlier, rebels and government troops engaged in fierce fighting in the town of Adra near Damascus.  In addition to the rebels killed, the Observatory says a leader and some members of Syria's elite Republican Guard died in the clashes.

There is no independent confirmation of these reports.

Separately, the Observatory says Islamist fighters battling Kurdish rebels near Syria's northern border with Turkey freed 300 Kurdish civilians they had detained in exchange for the local commander of the al-Qaida-linked group.

The group says the Islamist commander in the town of Tal Abyad - known as Abu Musaab - was captured late Saturday during clashes between Kurdish fighters and a group called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

The Islamist group retaliated by rounding up civilians believed to be relatives of the Kurdish fighters to hold as bargaining chips.  The fighting subsided Sunday.

Syrian Kurds have been trying to expel al-Qaida-linked militants - many of whom are foreign fighters - from the northeastern province of Hassakeh over the past week.  More than 60 fighters have been killed from both sides.

Infighting between Islamists and more mainstream Syrian rebels, as well as between Kurds and Arabs, has intensified in recent weeks - part of a power struggle that is undermining efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 22, 2013 7:54 AM
Assad has murdered more innocent civilians than so called "bad guys" since this ordeal began 2 years ago. He has people on youtube praising him to try and hide the fact he has murdered more civilians than any group in Syria. It's a media war on youtube and he is using this to try and brainwash people into thinking he is a great guy. The truth speaks for itself, there is no undoing the murders he has committed and destruction of the nation. He should be held fully accountable for his crimes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid