News / Middle East

Suicide Bombing Widens Syrian Conflict to Kurdish Northeast

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) allegedly shows smoke rising as the state TV said a suicide car bomb rocked the Kurdish city of Qamishli, September 30, 2012.
A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) allegedly shows smoke rising as the state TV said a suicide car bomb rocked the Kurdish city of Qamishli, September 30, 2012.
VOA News
Syria's civil war appeared to widen to the country's mainly Kurdish northeast on Sunday, with a suicide car bomber killing several people in a rare attack on a Syrian Kurdish town near the Turkish border.

Syrian state media said at least four people were killed in the blast in Qamishli, while the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bomber killed eight Syrian security personnel near a government security compound.

It was the first such attack in the predominantly-Kurdish area since the outbreak of the 18-month Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic rule. Syrian Kurds largely have stayed out of the conflict. There was no independent confirmation of the casualties from the bombing because Syria restricts reporting by international journalists.

Aleppo violence continues

Also Sunday, Syrian activists reported another day of intense fighting in the northern city of Aleppo, with Syrian troops shelling rebel-held districts and rebels attacking the military's Al-Nairab air base.

An earlier round of fighting late Friday into early Saturday sparked a major fire in Aleppo's historic covered market, or souk. Activists said the fire destroyed hundreds of shops by Sunday, ruining the livelihoods of centuries-old family businesses selling fabrics, perfumes and spices.

The souk is located in Aleppo's walled old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that had been popular with tourists before the outbreak of the conflict. UNESCO says the fighting already has damaged five of Syria's six world heritage sites.

Turkey: 'stop supporting Assad'

In other developments, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Iran, Russia and China to stop supporting the Assad government. Speaking Sunday, he said "history will not forgive those who stand with brutal regimes."

Iran is Syria's strongest regional ally. Western and Sunni-led Arab states have accused Tehran of providing military aid to Mr. Assad.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that Baghdad plans to conduct random inspections of Iranian planes flying to Syria through Iraqi airspace. In the interview published Sunday, Zebari said Iraq agreed to start the stop and search program at the request of the United States.

In a separate report sent to the media Sunday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the number of Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey could increase from the current figure of at least 300,000 to more than 700,000 by the end of this year.

OCHA said the number of Syrians in need of assistance is likely to rise with the winter season approaching and night temperatures already starting to fall significantly. It said tens of thousands of internally-displaced Syrians are staying temporarily in buildings that are "completely unsuitable" for the cold.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid