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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

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