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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid