News / Middle East

Syria's Assad Vows to 'Purge Extremists'

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a Cabinet meeting in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on Feb. 12, 2013.Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a Cabinet meeting in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on Feb. 12, 2013.
x
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a Cabinet meeting in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on Feb. 12, 2013.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a Cabinet meeting in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on Feb. 12, 2013.
VOA News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed Friday to purge his country of extremists he blames for a suicide bombing that killed at least 49 people at an ancient Damascus mosque.

In a statement carried in the official Syrian Arab News Agency, President Assad said the blood of those killed in the Thursday attack "would not go in vain," promising to eliminate the "forces of darkness and extremist" ideology responsible.

Eman Mosque is seen destroyed after a suicide bomber blew himself upin Damascus, Syria, March 21, 2013 (SANA photo)Eman Mosque is seen destroyed after a suicide bomber blew himself upin Damascus, Syria, March 21, 2013 (SANA photo)
x
Eman Mosque is seen destroyed after a suicide bomber blew himself upin Damascus, Syria, March 21, 2013 (SANA photo)
Eman Mosque is seen destroyed after a suicide bomber blew himself upin Damascus, Syria, March 21, 2013 (SANA photo)
Among those killed in the attack was longtime pro-government cleric Mohammed al-Buti, who had been a fierce critic of rebels fighting to topple President Assad.

Several members of the Syrian opposition were quick to deny responsibility for the bombing - the first suicide attack on a mosque during the country's two-year-old conflict.

During the uprising, President Assad has used such incidents to paint the opposition as extremists and terrorists, though many opposition members suspect the government is behind the bombings. Al-Qaida-linked groups have also claimed some attacks on Assad loyalists.

Rebels and the Syrian government also accused each other this week of using chemical weapons during an attack near the hotly contested town of Aleppo.

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ordered an investigation into the Syrian government's allegations that rebels used such weapons in a rocket attack. Ban called on all parties in Syria to grant full access and cooperation to the investigators.

"There is much work to do and this will not happen overnight. It is obviously a difficult mission," he said. "I intend for this investigation to start as soon as practically possible. Again, my announcement should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity."

U.S. President Barack Obama said he is "deeply skeptical" of the claim that rebels used chemical weapons. He said Washington will carry out its own investigation.|

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sum from: Sommerset
March 22, 2013 11:59 PM
if you keep quite against tyrant ,tyrant will get more offensive.

by: Peter from: Nazarin Church
March 22, 2013 11:28 AM
someone here asked why is Assad is still being called "president of Syria" when he is obviously not... well, the same could be asked of Mahmud Abb-Ass - "President" of Palestine... or why would we still be calling Judea and Samaria - the west bank...?? or "Palestinians" other than Arabs... or Mursi - the "president" of Egypt... or Vali Nasr an "American" scholar...??? its all distortion and fraud...
In Response

by: Mike from: Minnesota
March 22, 2013 11:23 PM
"or Vali Nasr an "American" scholar"

What an incredibly bigoted and hateful comment. Nasr has spent most of his life in the United States and is an American citizen.

His foreign policy analyses are 100 percent in line with American interests.

His Iranian background in no way detracts from his American nationality and his loyalty to the United States.

Just because someone doesn't promote perpetual ratcheting up of sanctions and war against Iran, doesn't make them a secret agent of the Iranian government, you charlatan bigot.

by: Anonymous
March 22, 2013 9:29 AM
Bashar al Assad can only hire outsiders to fight in Syria. Reason being is that outsiders are the only people that will kill Syrians. This itself is entirely a form of Terrorism. Especially at the fact the entire nation does not want Bashar, but Bashar is trying to use force to occupy Syria. Bashar is the biggest terrorist in Syria.

by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
March 22, 2013 9:08 AM
i very much hope and expoect that the syrian free forces are out to give assad a beating for the sake of a beating because of his wickedness and not because they need leadership of the country..i even wonder who has brainwashed assad that syria was meant to be governed by him.

lulasa...president
In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
March 23, 2013 2:00 AM
The answer is simple enough: Bashar al-Assad is a president lawfully elected by Syrian people. He is representative of his people. He is only trying to prevent Syria from becoming a second Afganistan, Iraq or Lybia where you only see violence, hatred, deadly bombings. The West has turned those countries into hell where people cannot enjoy any "human rights, democracy" at all.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 22, 2013 9:49 AM
A good question is, why is Bashar al Assad still being called "The President of Syria"? He isn't , he doesn't represent the country and people of Syria. If anything he should be facing a New Syria Judicial System for the murders of thousands. He is more of a criminal than any sort of President, which is representing.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 22, 2013 9:35 AM
I hope the exact same thing. Crimes against the Nation of Syria, by Bashar al Assad should NEVER go unpunished. He needs the most severe punishment in the world. He has killed and brutalized thousands in Syria. He has blood stained the Syrian Nation. He has tried to force himself as a leader of a country that the people of Syria own. He has tried and failed. He must now be disabled militarily and be brought to justice.

He deserves thousands of murder charges for the thousands of innocent victims he has killed in Syria.
You LOST Bashar!!! Don't you get the picture? Now you are just adding up a larger crime sheet. Crimes against New Syria.

by: Michael from: USA
March 22, 2013 9:06 AM
Consider as an example proposition A: "There is much work to do in Syria and this will not happen overnight"
and B: "The choirboys will sing the Ava Maria at noon"
Proposition B can be accomplished only if the clock strikes noon and A can be accomplished only before the sun does not rise

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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