News / Middle East

Activists: Nearly 500 Killed in Syrian Fighting

Smoke rises from a building after it was hit by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 9, 2014.
Smoke rises from a building after it was hit by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 9, 2014.
VOA News
Syrian activists say nearly 500 people, including 85 civilians, have been killed in fighting among Syrian rebels and hardline Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that 482 people have been killed in the seven days during intense clashes in Aleppo, Idlib, and Raqqah provinces. Of the 85 civilians, it said 21 were executed by ISIL fighters and the rest were killed in crossfire.

The Observatory said 240 combatants from Islamist and non-Islamist rebel battalions were killed in violent clashes, car bombings, or other attacks on vehicles in Aleppo, Raqqa, Hama, and Idlib. It said more than 20 people were executed by the ISIL in Aleppo.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The group also said 157 ISIL fighters died in the fighting, including 47 who were executed by rebels.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government's SANA news agency said Friday the army killed 37 rebels, who it refers to as terrorists, as they tried to leave an area north of the central city of Homs, which is surrounded by the army.

Neither SANA nor the Britain-based Observatory gave figures on government casualties.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have for months surrounded Homs - Syria's third-largest city - which was a center of the opposition uprising against his rule.

Assad loyalists are fighting a fractured opposition force, which has in recent days seen increased clashes between its Islamist and Western-backed elements.

  • Syrian rebel fighters hold their weapons as they walk along a street in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, Jan. 10, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter looks on as he holds the Syrian opposition flag during a protest against Syria's president and fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, Jan. 10, 2014.
  • A boy holds bread as he walks in front of the Syrian opposition flag during a protest against Syria's president and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, Jan. 10, 2014.
  • Bystanders look on as crews begin clearing the wreckage of a car bomb that exploded near a school in Al-Kafat, Syria, Jan. 9, 2014.
  • The remains of a car destroyed by a suicide bomb near the front of a damaged building in Al-Kafat, Jan. 9, 2014.
  • People survey the damage to a building destroyed by a suicide car bomb in Al-Kafat, Syria,  Jan. 9, 2014.
  • Damaged buildings line a deserted street in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 9, 2014. 
  • Free Syrian Army fighters are deployed in Kadi Askar in Aleppo after they claimed that they seized it from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to launch a mortar towards fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant from a street in the Kadi Askar neighborhood of Aleppo, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Men help a wounded boy who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, Jan. 7, 2014.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid