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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid