News / Middle East

Massive Blast Levels Historic Syria Hotel

Carlton Hotel, Aleppo, Syria
Carlton Hotel, Aleppo, Syria
Edward Yeranian
A massive explosion in a tunnel dug by rebel fighters destroyed an historic hotel facing Aleppo's iconic 13th century Citadel. Both opposition and government sources are reporting numerous casualties among government troops being housed in the building.  
 
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
x
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
This image made from amateur video posted by Shaam News Network (SNN), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, Syria, May 8, 2014.
Amateur video showed an enormous mushroom cloud rising into the sky over Syria's largest city of Aleppo after a blast leveled the Carlton Hotel, shattering windows and scattering debris for hundreds of meters. Explosives placed in a tunnel under the building destroyed the 150 year old Ottoman structure. Dozens were killed, including many government soldiers.

Government troops continue to hold the Citadel and several neighborhoods inside the historic old city of Aleppo, while rebels control surrounding districts and areas north and east of the city. Rebels recently agreed to lift a siege of the nearby government-held towns of Nubl and Zahra.

Government warplanes have pounded rebel districts of Aleppo with home-made “barrel bombs” since December, causing hundreds of casualties. Amateur video has shown entire buildings leveled in the aerial bombardment, with many residents buried under debris.

​An explosion in a tunnel under a government military base earlier this week killed dozens of Syrian soldiers near the town of Ma'arat al Na'aman in Idlib province. Opposition activists say it took rebel insurgents over 50 days to dig that tunnel.

An amateur video showed rebel fighters digging one such tunnel somewhere in the north of Syria. The group of mostly young men show off their work to visitors, describing their efforts.

Syrian government sources claimed recently to have destroyed a number of rebel-built tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Joubar. Once a rebel-stronghold, most of Joubar has been recaptured by government forces.

A rebel commander in Syria's third largest city of Homs describes a deal with the government to exchange prisoners in parts of the country. He insists, however, that the deal is not a truce. Amateur video showed government soldiers being released Thursday as part of the deal.

Homs' Governor Talal Barazi explains on Syrian State TV that a third wave of rebel fighters are being allowed to leave the old city Thursday. Amateur video showed several groups of fighters being evacuated from the old city within the past 48 hours.
 
  • This scene taken from amateur video shows the explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • This scene taken from amateur video shows an explosion that destroyed the Carlton Hotel in Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • Syrian rebels detonated a huge bomb underneath the Carlton Hotel, completely demolishing it. Seen here are forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad standing on the debris of the fallen hotel, in historic Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stand on debris of a hotel used by al-Assad's forces, in historic Aleppo May 8, 2014.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter helps another wounded rebel fighter, Al-Amariya district, Aleppo, May 8, 2014.
  • This photo shows Free Syrian Army fighters posing for a group photograph, exhausted and worn out from a year-long siege, before leaving Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • This scene from amateur video shows Syrian rebels boarding a bus leaving Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • Hundreds of Syrian rebels leave Homs under a cease-fire deal with government forces, May 8, 2014.
     
  • The exit of about 1,200 fighters and civilians marks a de facto end of the rebellion in the battered city of Homs, one of the first places to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, earning the nickname "capital of the revolution," Homs, May 7, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters on a bus leaving Homs, Syria, May 7, 2014.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
May 08, 2014 6:31 PM
Best thing that can possibly happen is now happening. Russia heavily slapped with sanctions for supporting bashar al assad war criminal terrorist whom has murdered more unarmed civillians than anyone in Syria. He will have to face justice regardless of what he thinks. Two thumbs up for sanctions!!!


by: TF Arcevol from: Miskatonic University
May 08, 2014 2:32 PM
"*A* historic", not "an historic".

The "h" in historic is not silent: "an" is reserved for words beginning with a vowel sound.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid