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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs