News / Middle East

    Mortar Rounds Hit Near Syrian Palace as Aleppo Death Toll Mounts

    This citizen journalism image from the Aleppo Media Center (AMC) shows people searching debris of destroyed buildings after Syrian government forces airstrike, Jabal Bedro, Aleppo, Feb. 19, 2013.
    This citizen journalism image from the Aleppo Media Center (AMC) shows people searching debris of destroyed buildings after Syrian government forces airstrike, Jabal Bedro, Aleppo, Feb. 19, 2013.
    VOA News
    Syrian rebels fired mortar rounds at one of President Bahsar al-Assad's palaces in Damascus Tuesday, as the death toll climbed to at least 31 from a separate missile strike late Monday in the northern commercial city of Aleppo.

    The palace attack is the first strike confirmed by the government close to a presidential building, and is widely seen as further evidence that Syria's civil war is reaching areas of the capital once considered safe.  The state-run SANA news agency reported no casualties at the Tishreen palace and the rebel Free Syrian Army later claimed credit for the attack.

    In Aleppo, meanwhile, 14 children and five women were reported among the dead, with amateur video showing dozens of residents working Tuesday to locate and identify victims in the city's Jabal Badro district.  

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quotes witnesses as saying no planes were overhead when the missile struck, and said the degree of destruction suggested a strike by a surface-to-surface missile.

    Meanwhile, Russian and Western news reports say Moscow has dispatched two transport planes and four large naval landing ships to Syrian coastal waters to evacuate its nationals wanting to leave the war-torn country.

    Russia's defense ministry said the ships were assigned to military service, while providing no further details.  However, a Russian military source told the official Ria Novosti news agency it can be assumed they will be taking part in a possible evacuation.

    Separately, the United Nations' World Health Organization renewed warnings Tuesday about a typhoid outbreak affecting some 2,500 people in rebel-held areas of the country's northeast.

    Typhoid is a bacterial disease that spreads as a result of contact with contaminated food or drink.  

    The WHO said ongoing fighting has cut off access to electricity and clean water, forcing many people to drink water from the sewage-contaminated Euphrates River.

    The United Nations estimates 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests erupted in March 2011 and broadened into civil war.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    February 20, 2013 6:03 PM
    The ICC is a sick joke, propped up by the west (as a propaganda tool for the most part). Funny that all the really big war crimes go unpunished, namely in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya (among others) where the perpetrators of war crimes are "untouchable", or have been conveniently absolved of their crimes.

    by: Anonymous
    February 20, 2013 1:48 AM
    This photo clearly shows the crimes against humanity Bashar al Assad is dealing from his deck. Every crime he does will not escape Justice being served. You can't escape justice for murder of thousands, this is 2013. Maybe in the wild west back in the day, but every crime has its punishment.

    by: musawi melake
    February 19, 2013 6:27 PM
    This issue is totally an internal matter, the only thing the UN and other international bodies should be dealing with is to counter the proliferation of illegal weapons that are being used by the terrorists against a sovereign state. If there are grievances among the people of Syria, it should be dealt with appropriately through negotiations and reconciliation. Syria should be the one that is entitled to investigate and do justice, not some Pundits at the Whitehouse.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    February 20, 2013 1:37 AM
    The International Criminal Court putting out for a warrant for Bashar al Assads arrest would be a wonderful start, this would slow things down a bit. A lot less innocent civilians would be killed. Justice will be served to Bashar al Assad, even if he thinks he can hide in Russia.

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    February 19, 2013 11:45 AM
    The terrible massacres of Sunni Muslim civilians, through the use of large weapons, by the Syrian regime continues unabatted. Those countries/orgs like Hezbollah that are supporting the regime are accessories to these massive crimes. It is unfortunate that no country has stepped into destroying the large weapons the Syrian regime has; until such effort is undertaken, these large massacres will just continue. Given that the regime is refusing to stand down, but just continues killing innocent civilians with massive weapons, a military option to destroy such weapons needs full consideration, or eventually Sunni Muslims in Syria will no longer exist. Not a very good outcome for anyone..

    by: Michael from: USA
    February 19, 2013 10:03 AM
    Since this attack there is no safe place in Syria. If ever there were a safe place it would not be found on any military map. The missle was aimed at a location on a map. a's causing b, points to the military which involves arms manufacture and if there were additional plans they probably occurred during the idea to use a missle, although the target was probably a difficult choice

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora