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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.