News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Attack Damascus Military Base, Form Council

Syrians wave national flags as they rally in central Damascus in support of President Bashar al-Assad's, Nov. 16, 2011.
Syrians wave national flags as they rally in central Damascus in support of President Bashar al-Assad's, Nov. 16, 2011.

Syrian opposition activists say army defectors have attacked a government base near the capital, Damascus, as Turkish officials and Arab League members met to discuss ending bloodshed of an eight-month uprising against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The activists say rebels of the Free Syrian Army fired rockets and machine guns at an air force intelligence complex in the Damascus suburb of Harasta early Wednesday.

A Germany-based spokesman for Syria's Local Coordination Committees said the Free Syrian Army has established a temporary military council whose goal is to weaken Syrian security forces. The Free Syrian Army previously had no announced central command.

A group of men claiming to be Syrian army defectors also released a video statement Wednesday declaring their desertion from the pro-Assad military.

A rights group says violence killed at least 11 people on Wednesday, including at least 4 in Homs province. There was no independent confirmation of the rebel attack or of the casualties.

Wednesday's escalations came as foreign ministers from Turkey and Arab League countries met in Morocco to consider additional sanctions against Syria for refusing to end the crackdown. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the gathering the Syrian government "will pay a high price." Syria boycotted the talks.

The league voted Saturday to suspend Syria's membership, accusing Damascus of failing to implement a deal with the regional bloc to stop the violent crackdown on dissent. The suspension was due to take effect Wednesday.

In Europe Wednesday, France announced it is recalling its ambassador to Syria and closing its consular offices amid new violence.

France's foreign minister says the country is working with the Arab League at the U.N. General Assembly on a new draft resolution on Syria.

Government loyalists also have staged mass rallies in recent weeks. Syrian state television showed thousands of Assad supporters rallying in the port of Latakia Wednesday, holding up his picture and denouncing the Arab League.

The United Nations says at least 3,500 people have been killed in connection with the Syrian revolt since March. Syria blames much of the violence on foreign-backed terrorists and religious extremists.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid